Singapore’s first flash-charging electric shuttle to be trialled at Nanyang Technological University

Singapore’s first flash-charging electric shuttle to be trialled at Nanyang Technological University

As part of its recently announced
Smart Campus initiative, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU
Singapore) and BlueSG Pte. Ltd., a
subsidiary of Blue Solutions
owned by the Bolloré Group, have
launched Singapore’s first flash-charging electric shuttle.

Named the NTU-Blue Solutions Flash Shuttle, the shuttle is equipped
with supercapacitors and a LMP® (Lithium Metal Polymer) battery developed by
Blue Solutions and it can travel two kilometres on a single charge, with backup
power that provides for an additional 30 kilometres.

The fully electric vehicle only requires 20 seconds to
recharge at stations which are fitted for its quick charging while passengers
board and alight, enabling emission-free continuous operation. Thereby the
Bluetram replicates the efficiency of trams without the need for offline
charging, unlike other electric vehicles that function solely on batteries.

Moreover, the costs of operating Bluetram is five to ten
times lower than tram systems as it does not require costly infrastructure such
as rails or catenary, and a whole line can be deployed in a matter of weeks.

Road trials have been planned for the 22-seater shuttle
between NTU’s Halls of Residence at North Hill and JTC’s CleanTech One, which
is part of the Jurong Innovation District where special charging stations have
been built. NTU students would be able to ride the shuttle from the second half
of 2018.

The joint research team comprising scientists from NTU’s
Energy Research Institute (ERIAN) and BlueSG will study the actual on-road
performance of the Bluetram in Singapore’s tropical climate, including the user
behaviour of passengers.

This research partnership will run for two years and is
supported by the Economic Development Board (EDB), Singapore. The collaboration
is also one of the key initiatives under the France-Singapore
Year of Innovation
, which aims to intensify cooperation on innovation between
the two countries in 2018.

The university is also in talks with BlueSG to install
electric vehicle car-sharing stations, adding to the existing pool of electric
vehicle charging stations around campus. This will enhance NTU’s connections
with nearby communities in Jurong West, Jurong East, Choa Chu Kang and Bukit
Panjang, and to the rest of Singapore.

Students, staff and faculty will be able to rent a BlueSG
vehicle and drive it around Singapore and return the vehicle to any BlueSG
charging station [1]. Members of the public can also drive into NTU’s campus
using the convenience and flexibility of the BlueSG program.

NTU President Professor Subra Suresh, said, “The move to
introduce electromobility and cutting-edge transportation technologies is part
of our vision to transform NTU into a Smart Campus. The use of electric
vehicles in public transportation is rapidly expanding across the world, as it
offers more efficient transportation systems and reductions in greenhouse gas

“As a leading global university with deep expertise in
sustainable technologies, the NTU Smart Campus is already a living testbed for
various sustainable and energy-efficient technologies, and the perfect partner
for BlueSG to test and develop electric shuttles for Singapore.  We expect that the insights and innovations
developed from this partnership will ultimately benefit Singapore and the world
by enhancing the first-mile and last-mile transportation options,” he added.

Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Vice President (Research),
said partnerships with leading industry players is crucial to translate
research into real-life applications.

“NTU has a strong culture of translational research,
especially in the areas of electromobility and sustainability. Having worked
with leading industry players such as Volvo
and BMW Group in similar areas, we look forward to working closely with Bolloré
to testbed the new electric shuttle at NTU, under Singapore’s climate and
traffic conditions.”

[1] Singapore’s first large-scale electric
vehicle (EV) car-sharing programme was launched
on December 12, 2017 by BlueSG, with 80 Bluecars and 32 BlueSG charging
stations available for public use. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) worked
closely with BlueSG to identify and secure suitable parking lots across
Singapore for the vehicle charging stations. The programme witnessed
3,300 registered members and 5,000 rentals at 31 December 2017.