Fill 'er up, and make it snappy!
If the electric vehicles are to be the future, then so must be flash charging — the ability to replenish a flat battery in several short minutes. And like EVs, it's already happening. At least, in a limited sense.
The island city-state of Singapore can now boast a tram that recharges in a mere 20 seconds at proprietary stations along its route. While that sounds pretty amazing, the technical details reveal the limited nature of the vehicle's abilities. To be blunt, this tech will not find lead to your Jaguar iPace (to choose an EV at random) recharging in under a minute. Still, the tech could be a good fit for other transportation modes aside from personal vehicles.
The NTU-Blue Solutions Flash Shuttle, as it has been romantically christened, was just launched by Nanyang Technological University, (NTU Singapore) and BlueSG Pte Ltd, which is a subsidiary of Bolloré Group's Blue Solutions. As it stops to drop off passengers, it can flash charge its bank of supercapacitors in less than half a minute. This is enough juice to roll along for two kilometers (1.24 miles), though it does have a Blue Solutions lithium metal polymer (LMP) battery as well that it can lean on for an additional 30 kilometers (18.6 miles), should the need present itself.
As part of its road trial, the 22-seater will shuffle the short distance between an NTU residence and CleanTech One, a six-story building that serves as home to assorted organisations, meant to be a hub for clean technology.
"The joint research team comprising scientists from NTU’s Energy Research Institute (ERIAN) and BlueSG will study the actual on-road performance of the Bluetram in Singapore’s tropical climate, including the user behavior of passengers."
We suggest if you happen to have the opportunity to ride the Flash Shuttle, do not, under any circumstances, leave your chewing gum under a seat.