By Okello Joshua Oscar
In his end-of-year address to the nation, President Yoweri Museveni announced plans to expand the use of electric transportation in Uganda. The move is aimed at reducing reliance on fossil fuels and lowering costs for transport operators.
According to the President, the shift will initially focus on electric “piki-piki’s,” or motorbike taxis, with investors agreeing to take away petrol/diesel piki-piki’s and provide owners with electric ones in exchange. The investors will recover their costs by operating charging stations where the electric batteries can be recharged, saving piki-piki operators an estimated 50% on fuel costs.
The shift to electric transportation will also include buses, cars, mini-buses, and pick-ups manufactured by companies such as Kiira Motors and METU-Katabaazi.
There are already several established companies dealing in electric automobiles in Uganda, including Kiira Motors and Zembo. Kiira Motors Corporation is a state-owned enterprise that is focused on technology transfer and contract manufacturing in the nascent motor vehicle industry in Uganda. Zembo, on the other hand, is an e-mobility company that offers lithium battery charging as a rental service in Kampala. These companies are helping to pave the way for the wider adoption of electric transportation in the country.
The use of electric automobiles will not only benefit transportation operators by lowering fuel costs, but it will also have a positive impact for the average citizen. With less money being spent on fuel, consumers will have more disposable income to use on other necessities or to save. In addition, the shift to electric transportation will help reduce air pollution and improve public health.
The future of electric automobiles in Uganda and the region looks bright, as more and more consumers and businesses are looking for sustainable and cost-effective transportation options. The government’s efforts to promote the use of electric vehicles, along with the help of established companies like Zembo and Kiira Motors, will likely drive further adoption and help position Uganda as a leader in the adoption of electric transportation in the region.