Named EVA, the vehicle was built by TUM CREATE, a collaboration between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Germany’s Technische Universität München (TUM). The project is supported by Singapore National Research Foundation and Prime Minister’s Office. Besides being the world’s first electric taxi built for tropical megacities, it also is the first car ever designed, developed, and manufactured locally.
According to NTU President Professor Bertil Andersson, the EVA Electric Taxi project is a good example of future electro-mobility and its possibilities. “NTU is at the forefront of sustainability research and we had identified electro-mobility as one of the solutions necessary to tackle climate change. Our success in building an electric car for the tropics is a big step forward in realizing our vision for a more sustainable future for everyone,” he added.
The EVA features a specially tailored fast-charging battery system, which is able to give it a range of up to 200 kilometers with just a 15-minute recharge. Despite having to house a large battery pack, the car is actually 150kg lighter than other comparable-sized taxis due to its lightweight carbon-fiber composites. “NTU’s key research projects at the Energy Research Institute such as our inductive wireless charging technology, a good alternative to the current plug-in conductive charging, are also successfully installed in EVA,” explained Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Chief of Staff and Vice President for Research.
The research team’s decision to build an electric taxi fitting Singapore’s climate was for very practical reasons. By replacing fuel-burning vehicles with electric ones, carbon emissions as well as local noise and exhaust emissions can be reduced. Moreover, many of EVA’s innovations can also be applicable to other industry sectors in Singapore, such as its energy-efficient air conditioning system and lightweight carbon-fiber composites.
“Due to the hot and humid weather in the tropics, a significant amount of energy is consumed by the air conditioning system in automobiles,” said Lam Khin Yong. “The innovative energy efficient air conditioning solutions deployed in EVA, like its new energy-efficient compressor technologies, can be adopted in both current and future vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint.” Moreover, the car’s ergonomically designed seats are equipped with a purpose-built system where moisture and heat are sucked away from the surfaces of the seat, so as to maximize comfort for passengers.