Uganda commits $6.5m to Kiira EV

Monday April 16 2018

A car manufactured by Kiira Motors. FILE PHOTO

A car manufactured by Kiira Motors. FILE PHOTO | NATION 

By RAYMOND TAMALE
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Uganda has committed nearly Ush24 billion ($6.5 million) in this year’s budget to put the first fully Ugandan-made car on the road. This is part of an expected total spend of Ush145 billion ($39.8 million) over four years, from 2018 to 2022.

Last Monday, Cabinet endorsed the commercialisation of the Kiira EV project, whose prototype electronic car was released in 2011.

The Kiira EV is expected to reach full production capacity of 60,000 units per year by 2039.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Elioda Tumwesigye, said the decision was informed by an appraisal and the approval of a feasibility study by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development for setting up and operating the Kiira vehicle plant.

“This project is going to be undertaken in phases, with the market entry point being assembly of vehicles in partnership with vehicle manufacturers,” Dr Tumwesigye said.

Phase  Two would involve assembly of pickups, concept SUVs, light duty trucks and buses, with 90 per cent of the vehicles engineered in Uganda by 2035-2040.

Sources say a number of companies including Ashok Leyland, Mahindra, Sino Truck and E-traction, have expressed interest in the project.

The EastAfrican understands that German engineering giant RLE International undertook a feasibility study in 2015 to establish the market for Kiira Motors Corporation, and concluded that the project was a viable investment.

Local manufactures have expressed interest, with Uganda Batteries and Roofings Ltd seen as one of the suppliers of car components.

Paul Musasizi, CEO of Kiira Motors, said the plant will increase demand for natural resources like steel from iron ore, plastics from oil and gas, and lithium ion batteries from graphite, lithium and cobalt.

“The operation is estimated to create over 2,000 direct jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs,” said Mr Musasizi.

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