Saft, a leader in NiMH and Li-ion battery technologies, announced its participation in the European New Electric Postman Helper (NEPH) project (Eureka! Project 3364). Saft is the main participant in the project and France (Saft’s home base) the primary contributing country (59.7%).
In the short term, the NEPH Project aims to create a range of integrated electric powertrains for personal mobility vehicles to help the post-office employees of Europe distribute the mail in urban zones. The postal market presents specific needs regarding payload, autonomy, performance, comfort of use, reliability and user-friendliness.
The Eureka program united the European postal organizations around a joint project in order to create a competitive European offer.—F. Bouchon, General Manager, Saft’s Rechargeable Battery Systems (RBS) division
In the medium term, the NEPH project is targeted to meet European market demand from private individuals for systems of personal transport. The electric powertrain will then equip caddies, bicycles, tricycles and quadricycles with electric power assistance for the public.
Saft worked with Segway in developing self-contained Ni-Cd and Ni-MH batteries that feature integrated charge and discharge management electronics for the Segway Human Transporter.
Saft is working with several partners on this project:
La Poste (France)
Royal Mail (UK)
Post Italiane (Italy)
Finland Post (Finland)
Tpg Post (Netherlands)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University partner)
Eureka, created as an intergovernmental initiative in 1985, is a pan-European network for market-oriented, industrial R&D. It currently is supporting 672 running projects with a budget of €1.8 billion (US$2.2 billion). Eureka’s Transport Area, of which NEPH is a part, has 57 projects underway with a combined budget of €205 million (US$249 million).
The total budget allocated for NEPH is €5.89 million (US$7.15 million).