Singapore Poly's solar race car and 4 other made-in-Singapore vehicles

Singapore Polytechnic unveiling their self-built solar car, SunSPEC4, with strong support from sponsor Singapore Power, at Singapore Polytechnic Sports Complex on Sept 29, 2015.
Singapore Polytechnic unveiling their self-built solar car, SunSPEC4, with strong support from sponsor Singapore Power, at Singapore Polytechnic Sports Complex on Sept 29, 2015. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Singapore has Tiger Beer, Axe Brand Universal Oil and even Crocodile underwear to call its own. Now, the Republic can add cars and motorbike to its lists of accolades.

Tertiary schools in Singapore have designed, manufactured and even taken part in global car competition. The Singapore Polytechnic team behind SunSPEC4 solar car will be among 46 teams from 25 countries taking part in the biennial World Solar Challenge, a 3,000-km endurance race from Darwin to Adelaide, from Oct 18 to 25.

Here are five made-in-Singapore vehicles which have been launched.

SunSPEC4 by Singapore Polytechnic

(Clockwise from bottom left) Team manager and senior lecturer Steven Chew with students Daniel Quick, 20; Lee Sunho, 21; and Cheong Yong Quan, 21, who are driving the Singapore Polytechnic team's black SunSPEC4, a 220kg carbon-fibre car lined with so
(Clockwise from bottom left) Team manager and senior lecturer Steven Chew with students Daniel Quick, 20; Lee Sunho, 21; and Cheong Yong Quan, 21, who are driving the Singapore Polytechnic team's black SunSPEC4, a 220kg carbon-fibre car lined with solar cells. The polytechnic is taking part in the World Solar Challenge, a 3,000km endurance race from Darwin to Adelaide, from Oct 18 to 25. PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The black 220kg carbon-fibre car lined with solar cells was made by a team of 52 engineering students and lecturers. Named SunSPEC4, the solar car - nicknamed Phoenix by the students - is a remake after the first was destroyed in a fire on Aug 25.

Sponsored by Singapore Power, SunSPEC4 is powered by two rear in-wheel motors and can attain a top speed of 90kmh to 100kmh; its 15kW lithium-ion battery pack gives it a range of 500km when fully charged.

Its solar panels are extra thin, allowing them to be moulded over curved surfaces. They are 10 per cent more efficient in converting solar energy into electricity than commercial-grade panels.

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EVA, an electric taxi by TUM Create

EVA, the taxi designed and built here by TUM Create - a collaboration between Nanyang Technological University and Germany's Technische Universitat Munchen - has a 200km range and a charging time of just 15 minutes. -- PHOTO: TUM CREATE
EVA, the taxi designed and built here by TUM Create - a collaboration between Nanyang Technological University and Germany's Technische Universitat Munchen - has a 200km range and a charging time of just 15 minutes. PHOTO: TUM CREATE

A collaboration between Nanyang Technological University and Germany's Technische Universitat Munchen, the electric taxi has a 200km range and a charging time of just 15 minutes. This is compared to conventional electric vehicles which take six to eight hours to charge and usually cover up to 160km on a full charge.

The taxi's specially designed features - such as an overhead air-conditioning system that cools individual seats, and fans in the seats that wick away heat and moisture - also help to reduce the energy needed to keep passengers comfortable in tropical cities.

The researchers said they decided to focus on electric taxis as taxis "have a far greater impact on the environment compared with private passenger cars".

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A bike by Alife Air Automobiles

Alife Air Automobiles' president and CEO Devan Nair with the A bike, which comes in 125cc and 150cc variants and in four designs. The scooters are designed and assembled in Singapore. Behind Mr Nair is the assembly line in Bukit Batok.
Alife Air Automobiles' president and CEO Devan Nair with the A bike, which comes in 125cc and 150cc variants and in four designs. The scooters are designed and assembled in Singapore. Behind Mr Nair is the assembly line in Bukit Batok. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Made and assembled in Singapore by home-grown company Alife Air Automobiles, A bike scooter comes in 125cc and 150cc variants and in four designs. About 80 per cent of parts are imported from China, Korea and Japan, with the rest sourced from local suppliers. The engine is designed and made in the US.

Approved for use by the Land Transport Authority earlier this year, the simply designed and customisable scooters are already on the road.

As part of the firm's contribution to SG50, president and group chief executive officer Devan Nair said the A bike will be sold at a "big discount" of $4,988 - excluding the Certificate of Entitlement - to Singaporeans and permanent residents.

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NTU Venture 8 by Nanyang Technological University

 ONG WEE JIN
The NTU Venture 8, which is made up of more than 150 3D-printed parts passed the technical inspection but did not place in the competition. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

The NTU Venture 8 is Singapore's first urban solar electric car built by the university's students .

Mounted on a carbon fibre single shell chassis, the eco-friendly race car participated in the Shell EcoMarathon Asia 2015 as an urban concept solar electric car, with its innovative 3D-printed body shell made up of 150 parts. It had passed the technical inspection but did not place.

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Scot by National University of Singapore


The Shared Computer Operated Transport – or Scot – car was launched by the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology and National University of Singapore on Jan 28, 2014. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

The National University of Singapore, in collaboration with the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, launched its own Singapore-made car in January 2014.

Named the Shared Computer Operated Transport (Scot), the vehicle is actually a Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car which the researchers retrofitted at a cost of $30,000. It seats four and can reach a top speed of 130kmh.

It is equipped with laser sensors which have a 30m range to help it avoid obstacles. It also has remote sensing technology that allows the vehicle to navigate without using the Global Positioning System. This is the successor to the driverless golf buggies which will be road-tested later this year.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story listed NAVIA by Nanyang Technological University as one of the five made-in-Singapore vehicles. We have replaced it with NTU Venture 8, a solar electric car built by the university's students.