Engineering students at Makerere University in Uganda have completed and tested the country's first electric vehicle. Named the Kiira EV, it's two-seater electric vehicle with lithium-ion batteries and can travel at speeds up to 200km/hr. The batteries must be recharged every 80 kilometers.
The team of 25 students started building this car back in August of 2009, and initially struggled with finding ways to fund the project. But after receiving a grant from the University president, they began to make real progress and constructed a vehicle that, "can pick speed very fast" and "properly climbed a 55 degree incline," according to project manager Paul Isaac Musasizi.
The key parts of the Kiira EV were built locally, with only the steering wheel and other minor accessories imported from abroad. Though it's certainly functional, there are still some kinks to work out as the car starts to jerk when it gains speed. Also, the steering wheel needs more power and a horn. Still, the efforts reflect a substantial step in reducing carbon emissions in a country lacking big automobile industries.