Singapore Post will be starting a road trial of a prototype three-wheel electric mail-delivery scooter this month.
The postal operator is running the trial with the research platform TUMCREATE. The road trial, set to begin on 28 March and end on 7 April, will take place along two delivery routes between SingPost’s Ayer Rajah Regional Delivery Base and the National University of Singapore. Three SingPost postmen have been assigned to provide “real-world feedback” for further development, while a manufacturing partner is being sought to convert the prototype into a market-ready product.
SingPost currently operates a fleet of 674 petrol-driven scooters for last mile postal delivery. About half of these are three-wheelers, which offer greater ride stability and load capacity than conventional two-wheelers.
Commenting on the upcoming trial, Tan Tien Po, SingPost Senior Vice President for Domestic Mail, said: “Innovation and the application of new technologies is how we improve SingPost’s services and meet the evolving postal needs of Singapore. We are excited to take this step forward with TUMCREATE, towards realising an urban logistics solution that addresses the future needs of mail and eCommerce logistics, increasing demands for fast and flexible delivery, and the growing need for environmental sustainability.”
Ulf Schlichtmann, who is a Professor at Technical University of Munich (TUM) and TUMCREATE Program Director, added: “I am really excited about this innovative vehicle for Singapore which our dedicated TUMCREATE team has developed in cooperation with SingPost. It has been a very rewarding collaboration, and we feel that Singapore will benefit from our research expertise which is backed up by TUM’s strong track record in vehicular technology, especially electrically powered vehicles.”
The vehicle’s all-electric drive produces zero local exhaust emissions and, with relative simplicity and fewer moving parts compared with combustion engines, reduces maintenance costs and downtime. Additionally, it offers near-silent operation, thus curbing noise disturbance, especially during deliveries in residential areas.
TUMCREATE has developed “modular batteries” which means the battery capacity can be matched to suit the needs of the route. By changing the battery configuration, the vehicle’s range may be configured to 35 kilometres, which is sufficient for an average mail delivery route – or 70 kilometres, which will satisfy almost all postal delivery trips made.
The vehicle comes with a detachable, rollable storage box that the postman can pack at his mail sorting station, wheel to the vehicle, and load up on the vehicle with the help of a motorised hoist. Packing and unpacking is cut down as the postman no longer requires a separate trolley to transport mail from sorting station to his delivery vehicle.
The box has a 567-litre capacity which, according to SingPost, is 23% more than those on existing postal scooters.
Rounding off its high-tech credentials, the e-trike is equipped with a smart instrument cluster that includes dynamic GPS routing for priority deliveries and optimised delivery routing, fleet monitoring for data collection and management, integrated cameras, and on-demand tracking.
Click here to see a youtube clip about the electric scooters.
TUMCREATE brings together researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) to develop public transport solutions. This includes work on electric and autonomous vehicles.
Source: Singapore Post (SingPost)