Those attending the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show this week just got the first look at a vehicle that could change the taxi industry in tropical countries. TUM CREATE, a joint research program by Technische Universitaet Muenchen and Nanyang Technological University, just unveiled its electric taxi prototype codenamed EVA. Resembling a typical 4-door smart car, EVA “is a result of interdisciplinary research in areas such as energy storage, battery charging, thermal management, and lightweight materials and design,” according to Magma Group. Among other impressive amenities, EVA comes complete with a super-fast charging system that gives the car 200 km of travel after just 15 minutes of plug-in time.

The presentation of EVA marked the first time that a Singapore-based organization has presented a vehicle in the 59-year history of Asia’s most important automotive tradeshow, and boy did they arrive with a bang.

EVA’s creators say that while most cities just repurpose passenger cars as taxis, this has become less practical as electric cars gain traction. Most of today’s electric vehicles offer a limited range and require long recharge times (up to 8 hours), which is impossible in the taxi business. EVA, however, was specifically designed to meet the needs of the taxi industry in densely populated tropical cities.

The compact car was designed to recharge in just 15 minutes, and to cover a realistic range of 200 km (based on Singapore driving patterns) per charge, which will be an industry benchmark. Other features include the extensive use of lightweight materials and energy-saving solutions such as individualized overhead air-conditioning.

“A robust and energy-efficient electric taxi for use in real world conditions is testimony of our strengths in engineering and how we apply it to make a difference. It is also a reminder to the world that it is essential for all of us to play a part for our environment and such R&D efforts is an investment towards a more sustainable future for everyone,” said Professor Bertil Andersson, NTU’s President, in a press release. EVA is just one of many next generation vehicles making their debut at the Tokyo Motor Show this week.


Images via TUM CREATE