Zimbabwean inventor launches an eco-friendly ‘electric trolley bus’ for developing countries


HARARE, Zimbabwe A cursory survey of bus company garages in Third World countries reveals that there are lots of retired buses whose diesel engines and gearboxes are worn out, repairing them is costly, or there is need to fit a new engine and gear box because the old one is obsolete. Chassis of a usable standard are left to rot.  


Two young Zimbabwe engineering students Mr Frank Mazvuru and Wilfred Pondiwa have designed an innovation to recondition retired diesel engines buses so as to get them back on the road, but this time powered by electricity. The proof of concept was carried out at the ZUPCO Depot workshops in Harare, where the engineers connected their electric motor to a diesel powered bus and the bus was able to power. The bus could not be driven over some distance because of licencing restrictions. Because an electrical motor is used, there is no electrocution risk.


Fifty-seater and 75 seater buses will be reconditioned by replacing the worn-out diesel engines with electric engines. The use of electricity cuts down on the amount of carbon footprints. A ground-breaking and still to be patented ‘trolley mechanism technology’ will be used to power two coupled buses. ‘Right now we have done the designs and we are in the verge of patenting through the National University of Science & Technology where I am currently a student’ enthuses Mr. Pondiwa. The benefits of the new technology are in the form of substantial foreign currency savings, for old buses will be put back on the road instead of buying new one. All that’s needed are imports of electrical components to be fitted onto the fleets.  


The new technology will benefit all Third World states which use diesel powered 50-seater and 75 seater buses.
Frank Mzvuru said "Our technology accommodates the infrastructure of developing countries, there is no need to build new roads, and the bus will use the same road which is currently being used by the other fuel- powered vehicles without causing any disturbances. The retrofitted buses can actually be overtaken and overtake, they can maneuver on corners; reach places where trains can’t reach (door to door service delivery). The route can be built for cities thousands of kilometres apart. Considering the torque and efficiency of an electric motor, the bus has much acceleration and thus it becomes time-efficient"

"The designs are ready to test, as they were part of my dissertation as a student of the National University of Science & Technology based in Bulawayo Zimbabwe, where I am currently a student. We are looking for a partner or venture capitalist to fund stage two of the project so as to produce a prototype i.e. building the electric train bus. We have done quotations for the production of the bus in the shortest possible time. Upon patenting, we are able to disclose the mechanism, and at the moment we have done all the paperwork including cash flow projections" adds Frank Mazvuru.

Contact Information

For more information about the electronic trolley bus project, contact the inventors’ publicist, Mr. Moses Sati, at Banright Pvt. Ltd, email banright7@excite.com, or on mobile +263777815917. The inventors can be reached via skype; their handle is Electric Powered Bus Zimbabwe. Their email is electribusprojectzim@gmail.com