Singapore showcases electric vehicle technology leadership

ABB is excited to contribute to both private and public advancements in electric vehicle infrastructure, and Singapore offers an ideal microcosm of some of the latest developments.

The Asia Pacific region provides a fascinating landscape for electric vehicles – most notably because the demands, constraints and opportunities change significantly from country to country. Against this background, ABB is excited to contribute to both private and public advancements, and Singapore offers an ideal microcosm of some of the latest developments.

A showcase in fast-charging networks

In Singapore, our team worked with Shell to deliver and commission its market-leading electric vehicle infrastructure at 10 Shell stations across the island. These feature our 50kW Terra 54 DC fast-charger solution, which can charge a vehicle’s battery from zero to 80% in around 30 minutes. Not only is it compatible with most electric vehicle models, it was rigorously tested to ensure optimal performance in a petrol station context. Through our cloud solution, ABB Ability™, the chargers connect to back offices, payment platforms and smart grid systems to offer a truly integrated transport solution. Remote charger status monitoring, diagnostics, repair and over-the-air software updates further minimise downtime.

We are also working hand-in-hand with SP Group to contribute to their overall target of 1,000 DC fast-charging stations across Singapore by the end of 2020. ABB’s contribution is a solution that offers two charging points – 43kW AC and fast-charging DC. This is providing the advantages of a smaller infrastructure footprint that serves a wider base of the community by supporting more models and a greater diversity of needs. With a new goal of 60,000 chargers by 2030, this fast scaling up of infrastructure will only support faster scaling up of personal electric vehicles and commercial fleets.

A showcase in autonomous vehicles

Singapore’s new automated guided vehicles (AGVs) are another exciting development. As part of a new port facility, the AGVs will be powered by new technology – existing DC chargers adapted for this specific purpose. It is another example of the strides being made toward zero-emission solutions fit for industrial-scale operations. The integrated 450kW smart-charging points will support fast charging and, ultimately, high productivity of the AGVs. They will be delivered in a fully containerised, prefabricated solution including medium and low-voltage switchgear, transformers and associated control and monitoring equipment in the one container – effectively housing the whole value chain on site. The solution provides benefits like fast on-site installation with high operational assurance and mitigated risk. The port is planned for an annual capacity of 65 million containers and is forecast to be the largest in the world by 2040. It is a stellar example of the merging of autonomous technology and electric vehicle technology – and a first-time application for ABB.

The final Singapore snapshot is the recent launch of the world’s first, 12-metre, fully electric autonomous bus. ABB is an industry partner supporting the collaboration between Nanyang Technological University (NTU), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and Volvo Buses to automate the whole value chain as a charge-and-go solution. The 40-seater bus uses ABB’s HVC 300P fast-charging system, which delivers 300kW DC power and is able to recharge the battery in 3-6 minutes. It uses the OppCharge interface seen across Singapore’s public transport efleet, which involves a pantograph mounted on the charging infrastructure for end-point charging. It means that buses can charge at the end of the line without impacting the normal operation of the route.

A showcase in a unified approach

The high-performance and entrepreneurial culture of Singapore is no doubt part of the reason for these advances. However, we also see significant value in the country’s clear position on the standards allowed across the country, ensuring every investment and every advancement is precise, fit-for-purpose and future-ready. The comparatively small country is providing a case study for the world in the economic, social and environmental gains possible through electric vehicle technology.

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About the author

Kumail Rashid

Kumail is the E-mobility Division Lead for ABB in Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. Having joined ABB in 2008, Kumail has held numerous senior roles across engineering, sales and regional business development. For the last six years, he has been instrumental in supporting the development of the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry in New Zealand and Singapore, working alongside government and industry organizations to set the direction in EV strategy and policy.
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