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 fully electric vehicle only requires 20 seconds to recharge at stations which are fitted for its quick charging while passengers board and alight.
It uses Bolloré’s Bluetram vehicle, which aims to be as efficient as tram systems, but comes with fast-charging and emission-free continuous operation.
The road trials planned for the 22-seater shuttle will be 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.
The shuttle was launched today by NTU’s Vice President (Research) Professor Lam Khin Yong and BlueSG’s Managing Director Mr Franck Vitté and witnessed by the French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Ms. Frédérique Vidal.
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 emissions.
“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.”
“We are very proud of our partnership with Nanyang Technological University (NTU), one of the most prestigious scientific institutions in the world. The launch of this very first Bluetram in Singapore, for the students and professors of NTU, further validates the technology and expertise of the Group in the field of electric battery,” said Marie Bolloré, Managing Director of Blue Solutions. “Our ambition is to make available innovative mobility solutions to the greatest number (individuals, states, communities and companies) that respect the environment.”
This research partnership with BlueSG will run for two years and is supported by the Economic Development Board, Singapore. As part of the trials, NTU students would also be able to ride the shuttle from the second half of 2018.
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.
Tram-like efficiency with fast-charging
Unlike other electric vehicles that function solely on batteries, the Bluetram replicates the efficiency of trams by operating continuously without the need for offline charging.
Equipped with supercapacitors and a LMP® battery developed by Blue Solutions, the shuttle can travel two kilometres on a single charge, with backup power that provides for an additional 30 kilometres.
Furthermore, 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.
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.
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.”
Electric vehicle car-sharing in NTU
As part of NTU’s Smart Campus initiative, the university is also in talks with BlueSG to install electric vehicle car-sharing stations. These will also add to the existing pool of electric vehicle charging stations around campus.
It 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 can drive it around Singapore and return the vehicle to any BlueSG charging station. Members of the public can also drive into NTU’s campus using the convenience and flexibility of the BlueSG program.
This is part of BlueSG’s ongoing expansion of its charging stations island wide.
Source : Nanyang Technological University