Nanyang Technological University joins Bolloré subsidiary BlueSG to test an electric shuttle that charges ultra-fast. The BlueTram project is to run over two years in Singapore.
Called the NTU-Blue Solutions Flash Shuttle, the all-electric 22 seater needs no more than 20 seconds to recharge at bus stops and is based on Bolloré’s Bluetram vehicle.
The upcoming road trials in Singapore will take place at the university campus. Students may hop on from the second half of 2018 when service will be between NTU’s Halls of Residence at North Hill and JTC’s CleanTech One.
Equipped with supercapacitors and the usual LMP battery by Blue Solutions, the shuttle can travel two kilometres on a single charge, with backup power that provides for an additional 30 km. Special bus stops with charging equipment have been set up so the tram can run free from any wire.
Bolloré thus says 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 so a whole line can be deployed in weeks.
The first Bluetram was inaugurated in Paris for the Paris Climate Conference COP21 back in December 2015. The electric streetcar stayed in operation throughout the winter, taking visitors between the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde free of charge.
The trial in Singapore is part of a research partnership between BlueSG and NGT. Together they want to study both the behaviour of the tram in tropical climate as well as the behaviour of passengers.
The two year project is supported by the Economic Development Board in Singapore and also an initiative under the France-Singapore Year of Innovation, which aims to intensify cooperation between the two countries in 2018.
As part of NTU’s Smart Campus initiative, the university is also in discussions with BlueSG to install electric vehicle car-sharing stations.