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NTU to conduct trials for Singapore’s first electric bicycle-sharing service

Furthering its Smart Campus initiative, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) announced that it will conduct trials for Singapore’s first electric bicycle-sharing service, in collaboration with Free2Move – French automobile giant, Groupe PSA’s mobility brand.

NTU, Groupe PSA’s Business Lab and Free2Move brand are jointly heading up the pilot project.

The “Free2Move Bikesharing” service will have 20 PEUGEOT electric bikes for use around NTU’s campus. The e-bikes have a 400 watt-hour (Wh) battery offering a range of up to 75 kilometres, enabling cyclists to make longer and faster trips compared with traditional bikes. The e-bikes can be dropped off at any location on campus or at the two docking stations, which are fitted with solar panels to save energy while charging. NTU has partnered with PylonCity, a local start-up specialising in e-scooter charging stations and monitoring systems, to install docking stations for the e-bikes that can also work with other personal mobility devices.

Users will be able to geo-locate the closest e-bike and check its battery level using a smartphone application developed by NTU and Groupe PSA’s Business Lab Singapore entity.

The pilot project which offers the service for free aims to promote an “active and green” means of mobility for the first or last kilometre around NTU’s sprawling campus. The project also aims to assess users’ motivations for using an e-bike and their riding preferences through big data analytics, which will help to optimise the location and number of docking stations.

In addition, the study will look at improving communication systems between the e-bikes and the mobile devices, including exploring the use of renewable energy and cloud monitoring for charging stations.

Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s Vice President for Research, said, “NTU’s lush campus is not only a living lab for cutting-edge research but it also hosts a wide array of sustainable technologies ranging from building and construction, to mobility and transportation. Coupled with NTU’s research strengths in sustainability and innovation, our partnership with Groupe PSA will not only develop greener mobility solutions but also support Singapore’s drive towards becoming a car-lite society.”

“We are entering the bikesharing market with a smart electric and connected bike solution for a seamless use thanks to advanced technologies. This highlights our Free2Move mobility brand’s ambition for making the mobility easier with a wide array of solutions for getting around. We are proud to collaborate on this project with Nanyang Technological University,” added Brigitte Courtehoux, Executive Vice President of Mobility & Connectivity Services, Groupe PSA.

“Singapore is an incredible play-ground. The local authorities promotes several initiatives for an active and green mobility; many actors are deploying new mobility services. The ‘eco-campus’ project deployed with NTU is one of them; it involves Groupe PSA and NTU’s team with high competencies” commented Gregory Blokkeel, Head of the Business Lab entity in Singapore.

Other recent mobility initiatives at NTU

NTU President Professor Subra Suresh  his vision for transforming NTU into a smart campus in January. Testing and implementation of cutting-edge transportation technologies is a key aspect of the smart campus plans.

On January 11,  NTU signed a cooperation agreement with Volvo Buses to collaborate on a research and development program for autonomous electric buses. One of the autonomous electric buses will be used on Singapore’s advanced new test facility for autonomous vehicles, CETRAN (Centre of Excellence for Testing and Research of Autonomous Vehicles), opened in December 2017. The second bus will be used for tests in the bus depot in partnership with the public transport operator SMRT.

On January 22, NTU announced trials of an ultra-fast charging electric shuttle in collaboration with BlueSG Pte. Ltd., a subsidiary of Blue Solutions, owned by the Bolloré Group. The fully electric vehicle only requires 20 seconds to recharge at stations which are fitted for its quick charging while passengers board and alight, enabling emission-free continuous operation.

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