|Years in operation||2018–|
|Motor||Asynchronous electric motor|
|Accessibility||Low Floor & Wheelchair-accessible|
|Emission Standard||NA (Zero tailpipe emissions)|
The Bolloré Bluetram is a supercapacitor electric vehicle built by French company Bolloré. Running on tires and entirely electric, Bluetram is touted as a cost-efficient and clean public transport solution which replaces traditional city trams, requiring neither rails nor overhead power lines. The vehicle has also been trialled in Paris.
In Singapore, the Bluetram is being trialled by Bolloré subsidiary BlueSG in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Named the NTU-Blue Solutions Flash Shuttle, the vehicle will be used as a short-haul shuttle bus, whilst the vehicle is performance-evaluated on Singapore roads. The trial began in 2018 and is expected to last two years.
Find out more about Electric Buses in Singapore here.
The bus is developed by Blue Solutions, a subsidiary of French transportation company Bolloré Group. The vehicle is available in 6-metre, 12-metre, 18-metre (articulated) and 24-metre (bi-articulated) lengths.
Equipped with rubber tires, the Bluetram costs five to ten times less to construct as compared to a conventional tram line as costly infrastructure is significantly reduced (without the need for catenary wires or steel rails). Such a design would also improve aesthetics within a city operating trams. The first Bluetram was launched in Paris in December 2015 for the United Nations climate change talks.
Apart from the Bluetram, Bolloré also offers the all-electric Bluebus in 6-metre and 12-metre lengths. However, the Bluebus is designed as a battery-electric bus relying on large-capacity batteries for long periods of operation. It is also recharged manually via cable.
Electric Charging Technology:
The fully-electric vehicle stores power mainly in supercapacitors which are installed on the roof. They are characterized by their high power density, very short charging and discharging time, and the ability to go through several million cycles without degrading.
Recharging at bus stops, which are fitted with quick charging infrastructure, requires only 20 seconds. A telescopic charging connector at the station automatically plugs into the Bluetram when the vehicle pulls up to it. On a single charge, the vehicle can travel for two kilometres.
The vehicle is also equipped with a 30 kWh LMP® battery pack to allow the vehicle to return to a depot/maintenance facility outside of the network of stations, allowing for an additional range of around 30 kilometres.
NTU-Blue Solutions Flash Shuttle
Main article: Supercapacitor Bus begins trials in NTU
It was initially reported on 28 March 2017 that the possibility of bringing in the Bolloré Bluetram was being explored. The announcement was made as part of a research and development agreement between French energy company Engie and local utility Senoko Energy, working with electric car-sharing operator Bolloré Group, the firm that was awarded the Government contract to start the electric car scheme. BlueSG, a Bolloré subsidiary, launched the electric car-sharing programme in December 2017.
On 22 January 2018, the Bolloré Bluetram was launched at NTU. The research partnership with BlueSG will run for two years and is supported by the Economic Development Board. As part of the trials, NTU students would also be able to ride the shuttle from the second half of 2018. The collaboration is also one of the key initiatives under the France-Singapore Year of Innovation, which aims to intensify cooperation on innovation between the two countries in 2018.
|Basic Technical Specifications|
|Drivetrain||Asynchronous electric motor paired with Differential gearbox|
|Battery||730Wh Supercapacitor Pack with 30 kWh LMP® Battery Pack
Charged via telescopic charging connector at bus stop during normal operations
|Capacity||9 seated + 13 standing = 22 total
or 9 seated + 10 standing + 1 wheelchair = 20 total
|Other Features||Mobitec Electronic Display Signage (EDS)
Orange LED Matrix
The bus began public runs in April 2018. Its route takes it from JTC’s CleanTech One to NTU’s North Hill Residence, Foodgle Food Court and NTU’s North Spine (FACTS Lobby), before returning via Foodgle Food Court and CleanTech Two.
Bearing the registration plate PC6617B, the bus is authorized for use along roads within NTU and Cleantech Park under the Road Traffic (Authorisation of Use) (No. 2) Notification 2016, effective from 18 October 2016 to 17 October 2018 (both dates inclusive).
The authorisation of use was extended to 17 October 2021 in an amendment on 13 October 2018.
Special charging stops have been built at JTC’s CleanTech One and NTU’s North Hill Residences. As the bus is configured for a left-hand-drive market, the passenger door and charging connector is on the right side of the bus.
The vehicle seats 9 passengers and has standing room for 13 more passengers.
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External Links & References:
- NTU and BlueSG launch ultra-fast charging electric shuttle
- BlueTram Brochure
- Electric vehicles, Solutions
- Bluetram – Blue Solutions
- NTU and BlueSG launch ultra-fast charging electric shuttle – NTU
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