By Cameron Chai
Toyota Tsusho Asia Pacific (TTAP) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) are collaborating to launch a micro electric vehicles (EV) study. A fleet of 10 Toyota Auto Body COMS are to be deployed in the NUS University Town and the NUS Kent Ridge campus.
The Toyota Auto Body COMS are single-seater micro EVs that weigh about 300 kg. They run on sealed lead-acid batteries that offer a driving range between 35 km and 45 km. They are designed to travel at a top speed of 50 km/h, which is limited electronically. The EV features regenerative braking, 93% parts recyclability, zero CO2 emissions and a low running cost of S$0.03/km. COMS, which means “smooth, short rides into town”, is an acronym for “Chotto Odekake Machimade Suisui” in Japanese.
The research will study the environmental impact, cost-effectiveness, performance and sturdiness of the EVs for commuting short distances and their effect on Singapore’s tropical climatic conditions. NUS staff will drive the EV around the campus and the UTown. The users and EVs will be linked to a telematics hub that will collect the data wirelessly. The travelling pattern and users’ behavior will be studied in order to optimize the distribution of the micro-EVs. The charging behavior will be studied for placement of charging stations at appropriate locations.
The data will be used for designing procedures and systems for implementing an eco-friendly and fully integrated EV travel system on a larger scale. The study will look at the feasibility of using micro-EVs as a sustainable mode of transportation and help address traffic congestion in large cities. It may lead to a new beneficial mode of transportation for Singapore.