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National University of Singapore and Toyota Tsusho Asia Pacific launch micro electric vehicles study

The National University of Singapore (NUS) Faculty of Engineering and Toyota Tsusho Asia Pacific Pte Ltd (TTAP) have begun a one-year joint study on micro electric vehicles (EVs) using the NUS Kent Ridge campus and the NUS University Town (UTown) as a test bed. The study will explore the viability of deploying and expanding personal mobility vehicles such as Toyota Auto Body COMS (earlier post) for short distance travel in Singapore. NUS and TTAP will deploy a fleet of 10 Toyota Auto Body COMS, which are single-seater micro EVs for this study.

The Toyota Auto Body COMS ready for testing. Click to enlarge.

The Toyota Auto Body COMS, Japanese acronym for “Chotto Odekake Machimade Suisui” which means “smooth, short rides into town”, provide a driving range of between 35–45 km (22–28 miles) via the use of sealed lead-acid batteries. Each Toyota Auto Body COMS, which weighs about 300kg and takes eight hours to be fully charged, can travel at an electronically limited top speed of 50 km/h (31 mpg).

The NUS Kent Ridge campus and UTown will serve as a microcosm of a self-contained township for the study, which will be carried out in three phases.

For the initial phase, researchers will gather data and feedback from some 30 NUS staff who will test drive the Toyota Auto Body COMS round the Kent Ridge campus and UTown. The findings will help to develop a fully integrated, eco-friendly mobility system that enables efficient management of EVs and a self-service EV rental scheme for staff and students to commute from point to point on campus. About 160 NUS staff and students are expected to be involved in the year-long study.

The study will look into the following areas:

  • Robustness, performance, cost-effectiveness and environmental impact of EVs in Singapore/tropical climatic conditions for short distance travelling;

  • Users’ behavior and travelling pattern to optimise micro-EVs distribution with the NUS campus;

  • Users’ charging behavior so as to determine efficient locations to place charging stations; and

  • Systems and procedures which would need to be put in place for future larger scale implementations.

The micro EVs and the users will be wirelessly linked to a telematics hub which will collect data for analysis and management purposes. The telematics hub, developed by TTAP and a local partner, acts as a systems integrator that coordinates the collection of data from various systems for processing and subsequently generates information that is relevant to specific user groups.



Could become an ideal car for a city (country) like Singapore where it is almost impossible to drive faster than 50 kph and where parking space is very limited.

A slightly faster/larger model could also be useful in most large cities to reduce air pollution and make better use of parking places.

Anyway, this may be what (all) the 97% be able to afford in another 10 years or so.

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