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Singapore-based Tum Create brought its EVA prototype to the ongoing 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Explicitly designed as an electric taxi for “tropical megacities”, the Tum Create EVA’s party piece is its battery pack, which can be recharged in 15 minutes to yield a realistic 200 km operating range.

This, however, is based on Singaporean daily driving patterns and without turning the air-con off. Base it on US FTP 72 standards and the range climbs to an impressive 330 km.

Tum Create says the challenges surrounding fast charging include the high electric currents needed, plus the resultant heat generated in the battery pack during charging. To that end, its engineers have designed an innovative concept for better thermal management of the battery cells which aims to extend the pack’s lifespan.

The five-door, four-seater’s monocoque structure is composed entirely of CFRP (carbon fibre-reinforced polymer), allowing it to weigh a claimed 1,500 kg. It is 4,316 mm long, 1,794 mm wide and 1,679 mm tall (excluding taxi signage), and sits on a 2,602-mm wheelbase.

Its 60 kW/223 Nm electric motor is fed by a 50 kWh 216-cell lithium polymer battery (cell capacity 63 Ah, max voltage 450 V, max current 360 A). Drive goes to the front wheels via a single-speed synchronous transmission. With a 0.34 drag coefficient, the Tum Create EVA hits 100 km/h in 10 seconds before topping out 11 km/h after that.

And it’s not just about the powertrain – the taxi has a nine-month to three-year-old child seat integrated in the back of the front seat, an infotainment system that allows passengers to control air-con and audio wirelessly from their personal mobile devices, individualised overhead air-con and seat cooling.

Tum Create is a joint electromobility project between Technische Universität München (TUM) and Nanyang Technological University, with support from Singapore’s National Research Foundation. The EVA has been built from the ground up, going from concept to prototype in just two years.