TUM CREATE, a joint research project between two engineering schools, Technische Universität München (TUM) in Germany and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, is showing off its EVA electric taxi prototype at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
A key highlight EVA electric taxi is the car’s super-fast charging system. It is designed to be recharged in just 15 minutes to cover a realistic range of 200 km (124 miles) with the air-conditioning switched on, based on the driving patterns of Singaporean taxis.
EVA is propelled by a 60 kW electric motor. Top speed is 111 km/h (69 mph) and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) takes 10 seconds.
Other features found on EVA include the extensive use of lightweight materials and energy-saving solutions such as individualized overhead air-conditioning.
Transportation companies around the world typically re-purpose passenger cars as taxis.
However, the challenge of current electric vehicles is the extremely limited range and long recharge times (up to 8 hours), making them impractical as taxis. TUM CREATE aims to address these issues, as well as the unique challenges posed by the heat and humidity in tropical megacities, through its research and development. Unlike temperate climates, passenger cooling and battery pack heat management are issues specific to tropical and equatorial regions.[wzslider height=”400″ lightbox=”true”]As a form of public transportation, introducing electric taxis into the local taxi fleets has a high leveraging effect to decrease carbon emissions.
EVA was designed from the ground-up as an electric taxi and is a result of interdisciplinary research in the areas of energy storage, battery charging, thermal management, and lightweight materials and design.
With its fast recharge times, EVA can achieve long ranges with short downtimes — as charging can be performed during the driver’s rest breaks.
Apart from tackling the energy storage and battery charging challenges, EVA electric taxi also features innovations that are particular to tropical climates. TUM CREATE’s researchers have developed an individualized, overhead air-conditioning system with which they target to reduce the cabin cooling power. Ergonomics studies have shown that localized cooling has a direct impact on the overall thermal comfort. The overhead outlets and the seat ventilation target these areas to create better thermal comfort without the need to cool down the whole cabin.
Unoccupied zones can also be switched off to further reduce energy consumption. Interestingly, this system also reduces the exposure of air-borne particles or germs from being blown from one seat to another zone in the vehicle.
Besides the cabin cooling system, EVA’s innovative seats provide a maximum comfort for both the driver and passengers driving in humid tropical climate. The ergonomically designed seats are equipped with a purpose-built system where suction draws away moisture and heat from the surfaces of the seat. In addition, the front passenger seat folds forward to reveal an integrated child seat for children aged 9 months to 3 years old, which fills the void in the area of safety for young taxi passengers.
The climate controls, in-car entertainment, booking and digital payment systems are also linked via the infotainment system that allows passengers to control air-conditioning and audio settings wirelessly from their personal mobile devices. Similarly, the central control panel and driver’s instrument cluster are also connected seamlessly to the on-board systems, and are able to provide driving statistics and power-saving tips to the driver.
|Segment / Type||C-Segment / Compact Car|
|Number of Doors||5|
|Number of Seats||4|
|Height (excluding taxi signage)||1679 mm|
|Width (excluding wing mirrors)||1794 mm|
|Curb Weight (including battery)||1500 kg|
|Max permissible||1900 kg|
|Air resistance (Cd x A)||0.34 x 2.8 m2|
|Max. Power||60 kW*|
|Max. Torque||223 Nm|
|Top Speed||111 km/h|
|0 – 100 km/h||10 seconds|
|Range (15 minutes Super Fast Charging)||200 km (Daily driving pattern)|
330 km (U.S. FTP 72 standards)
|Transmission||1:10.2 (1 gear)|
|Cell Type||Lithium Polymer|
|Number of Cells||216|
|Energy Content||50 kWh|
|Max. Voltage||450 V|
|Max. Current||360 A|