30 Apr 2015   |   News

German university helps develop bespoke electric car for hot climate

Fast-charging electric car adapted to fit humid weather is unveiled in Singapore

An electric car designed specifically for cities with a predominantly hot climate, which its designers say is a world-first, was unveiled in Singapore last week.

The EVA taxi, jointly developed by a team of 40 researchers from Germany’s Technical University Munich and Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU), is made of light-weight carbon-fibre composite materials and equipped with an energy-efficient air-conditioning system to minimise the carbon footprint.

The car is 150 kilogrammes lighter than a standard taxi of a similar size and took four years to develop. The vehicle offers a 200 kilometres driving range and can be fully charged within only 15 minutes using wireless technology. With taxis covering an average of 520km a day this means the car would need just two to three charges daily.

“We had identified electro-mobility as one of the solutions necessary to tackle climate change,” said NTU president Bertil Andersson, who from 2004 to 2007 led the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg.  “Our success in building an electric car for the tropics is a big step forward in realising our vision for a more sustainable future for everyone,” Andersson said.

Hot and humid weather in the tropics means a significant amount of energy is consumed by the air conditioning system in automobiles. EVA has a separate air conditioning system that sucks heat and moisture away from passengers through the seats.

“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,” said Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s vice president for research.

EVA was previously awarded the Bavarian State prize for electromobility at the eCarTec, a trade fair for electric and hybrid mobility, held in Munich.

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