Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today unveiled GreenLite, Singapore’s first truly green bus.
The first hydrogen-electric bus on Singapore roads, GreenLite is the result of a joint research project between NTU and Beijing’s Tsinghua University. As it does not run on fossil fuel, GreenLite has zero carbon emission and only emits clean water. Unlike conventional buses, GreenLite is not powered by a combustion engine, which makes travelling on it a pleasantly quiet ride.
The eco-friendly bus made its maiden journey today, ferrying guests and the media around NTU’s Yunnan Garden campus, which is also the official Youth Olympic Village when the inaugural games are held in Singapore next month. Launched by the Mayor of the Youth Olympic Village, Mr Teo Ser Luck who is also the Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports and Ministry of Transport, the hydrogen electric bus will transport athletes and officials within the Youth Olympic Village during the games.
NTU has introduced a slew of green features at the Youth Olympic Village and GreenLite is the centrepiece of these pro-environment features. With more than S$750 million in sustainability research, NTU has established itself as a leading player in environmental sustainability.
NTU’s President, Professor Su Guaning said: “Sustainability research and development is a key thrust for NTU. As one of the world’s largest engineering universities, we want to play a part in contributing to new engineering solutions that are not only cutting-edge, but also sustainable and friendly to the environment. Through GreenLite we hope to introduce clean technology in public transport to people in Singapore as well as the young athletes at the Youth Olympic Games”.
With professors and researchers from both NTU and Tsinghua University complementing each other’s expertise, the research project was completed within just seven months.
Said Professor Cen Zhangzhi, Vice Chairman of the University Council at Tsinghua University: “Tsinghua is committed to green education, green research and green service to benefit society at large. GreenLite is just one example of our efforts in these areas and we will continue to pursue more initiatives in this same direction.”
GreenLite is powered by two sources of energy – hydrogen and lithium-ion batteries. A fuel cell system housed on board the bus acts as an “energy converter” that converts hydrogen into electricity which powers the bus and charges the batteries when necessary.
Unlike other hydrogen fuel cell buses which typically have capacities of between 80kW to 150kW, this unique dual design combining a proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack with lithium-ion batteries enables the bus to run on a fuel cell power capacity of only 40kW.
The GreenLite research project is developed in partnership with Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA), Singapore bus company SBS Transit as well as Higer Bus Company Limited, one of the fastest developing bus manufacturers in China.
Mr Lew Yii Der, LTA's Group Director of Corporate Planning & Research, said: "LTA is committed to explore innovative clean technologies for sustainable land transport solutions. This fuel cell bus is the first of its kind in Singapore and we will learn much about its feasibility as a public transport option on our roads. We are proud to be a partner of this project. "
SBS Transit Chief Executive Officer, Mr Gan Juay Kiat, said: “SBS Transit runs the bulk of public bus services in Singapore. We are very conscious of the impact of our operations on the environment. That is why we don’t just stop at replacing our fleet with new buses that are Euro 5 complaint. We believe that newer, alternative forms of energy are the way to go which is why we are embarking on these trials.”
Mr Wu Wenwen, General Manager of Higer Bus Company Limited, said: “Situated in the Singapore-Suzhou Industrial Park, Higer, one of the top three bus manufacturers in China, is very proud to have contributed to a more eco-friendly Youth Olympic Games through GreenLite. Our collaboration with NTU and Tsinghua University on this bus has certainly made ties between Suzhou and Singapore even closer.”
For NTU, GreenLite is the first step of more to come in sustainability research.
“Having a working prototype allows our engineering students to go beyond textbooks and computer designs of fuel cell buses, creating opportunities for more research in fuel cell technology, hybrid systems and other related research areas such as energy storage, ” said Professor Pan Tso-Chien, Dean of NTU’s College of Engineering, one of the largest engineering colleges in the world.
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