BMW embark on S$1.3m electromobility research

BMW Group and Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) launched a new electromobility research programme, involving the all-electric BMW i3 and plug-in hybrid sports car BMW i8 that runs on electricity and petrol.

This new research programme will be conducted at the Future Mobility Research Lab located on the NTU campus, which is the BMW Group’s first joint lab in Southeast Asia.

Both parties will be injecting a combined S$1.3 million to drive the new research projects, on top of the initial S$5.5 million funding allocated to the joint lab in 2013.

The new research programme will focus on two new areas, Electromobility in Asia and also Smart MaterialsThis is in addition to the original three research topics that the joint lab is working on: Advanced Battery, Driver Enhancement and Intelligent Mobility.

At the launch ceremony at NTU, the BMW Group announced that the BMW i3 and BMW i8 will be provided as research platforms to the Future Mobility Research Lab.

The scientists at the joint lab will use the two BMW i vehicles to conduct research on real-life driver behaviour and to collect in-depth data on vehicle performance. The two cars will also conduct on-road trials of new technologies such as a mobile application that can accurately predict traffic and estimated end-to-end travelling time.

Mr. Axel Pannes, managing director of BMW Group Asia said: ‘We are very satisfied with our partnership with NTU and the establishment of the Future Mobility Research Lab, thanks to the high level of competency from NTU’s research staff and interdisciplinary teams.’

‘Through the relentless efforts of the dedicated researchers, we have already made some important findings through the earlier research topics in a short period of just two years. With the expanded research scope on Electromobility in Asia and Smart Materials, more invaluable knowledge will be gained by both parties. Further, the knowledge will also be transferred to Singapore’s academia and broaden their technical understanding of modern full-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. It will definitely forge a stronger technological partnership between the BMW Group and NTU,’ added Axel.

Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU’s chief of staff and vice president (Research), said the new research programme will build on the research successes of the NTU-BMW joint lab.

‘The new research programme will further exploit the synergy between BMW Group’s leadership and expertise in automotive sciences and NTU’s leading research in sustainability and clean technologies. The NTU-BMW joint lab has already made important advancements in areas such as new battery materials that can extend the range of an electric vehicle and innovative driver assistive technologies to greatly enhance safety.’

‘NTU is one of the eight top universities across the globe that BMW has established a strategic partnership with. The BMW i3 and i8 will be used by BMW and NTU scientists to develop and test innovative technologies in real-life conditions and this new research programme extends NTU’s efforts in developing future mobility solutions with global impact,’ said Prof Lam.