By Roland D Nasasira
The final model will be in production by 2018.
Uganda has in the recent past tried out its luck in manufacturing a car. The project that was run under Kiira Motors and is in the near future yet to become a reality, has seen a KIIRA EV Smack as its second project.
The KIIRA EV Smack is a five-seater concept car that runs on both its 1.8cc ecotech hybrid petrol engine and a high voltage battery. According to Richard Madanda, the director product development at Kiira Motors, when its battery is fully charged, it can run without using the engine.
“When it’s running using the engine, the battery starts charging. When it’s using the battery alone, it’s very quiet and it covers a distance of 80 kilometres, but when it’s running on the engine, it makes average noise. When the battery runs low, the engine automates itself to keep the car moving,” he adds.
Madanda explains that when it is starting, the Kiira EV does not require using a key. All it uses is a push-to-start button that is located in the position where the normal right hand drive car key is inserted. “However, with its portable key that is in the form of a card, when you hold the key and are standing a few feet from the car, the car senses the key and it either locks or opens itself.”
The car that will originally be in black is designed with a bluetooth system that allows a driver to connect to their phone or music handset.
Its rims and the steering wheel are also customised with the image of the crested crane. It being a car made in Uganda, the national symbol is believed to be the best way of showing this. Madanda explains,
“If you fill the tank and the battery is fully charged, the car can cover a distance of 500kms.”
Building the car
Some of the KIIRA EV Smack parts such as the car seats and body were designed locally while the engine, the dual cooling system that runs on both water and oil and the mortar. Doreen Orishaba, the Vice president of Sales and marketing at Kiira Motors says the dual radiator that uses both oil and water is another part of the car that was designed by Kiira team and made by an international contractor from the USA.
Some of the parts that were designed and manufactured by a different company include. The car was also designed with a CAN-VU display on the dashboard that shows the state of charge of the battery.
When it’s running on the battery and engine, it can be driven at a speed of 120 kilometres per hour. On the battery alone, it can go up to 32 kilometres per hour.
Its fuel tank has a capacity of 60 litres and it also comes with an electro dynamic systems controller.
It also has sensors that help the driver while reversing in that when it reverses closer to an obstacle, the warning alarm makes a fast and loud sound.
1.8cc – The engine capacity of the Kiira EV Smack
60 Litres – Amount of fuel you need to fill the Kiira EV Smack fuel tank