A*STAR Leads R&D Programme With 10 Industry Partners To Develop High-performance Ev Component, And Boost Local EV Supplier Ecosystem

SINGAPORE – The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) has launched a new R&D programme to build local capabilities for manufacturing high-performance electric drivetrains, a high-tech core component in electric vehicle (EV) systems.

The new programme – Electric Traction Module Open Technology Platform Collaborative Industry Project (E-TraM OTP CIP) – is expected to grow and uplift the pool of industry partners in the electric drivetrain sector, as well as create new technological capabilities and value chains for Singapore’s EV ecosystem.

The 10 industry partners involved in the programme comprise local start-ups, SMEs and MNCs representing suppliers, manufacturers and end-users. They are Akribis Systems Pte Ltd, BorgWarner Singapore Holdings Pte Ltd, Giken Sakata (S) Limited, Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, ION Mobility Pte Ltd, MMI Holdings Limited, Neo Performance Materials (S) Pte Ltd, Nidec Singapore Pte Ltd, Proterial Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, and Sanwa Plastics Industry Pte Ltd. They will partner A*STAR in R&D activities for electric drivetrains.

The R&D programme will look to increase the energy efficiency and torque performance of electric drivetrains – two key needs in this domain – increasing mileage for an EV on the same battery charge, and enabling more powerful acceleration at lower speeds. The programme will first focus on developing electric drivetrains for road-worthy electric two- or three-wheelers, such as electric scooters, motorcycles and tricycles.

Led by A*STAR’s Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), the programme aims to build capabilities among Singapore companies in drivetrain technology, and to boost local ecosystem for electric drivetrains. This will allow Singapore to meet the growing demand for electric motorcycles in the Southeast Asia region1. The electric drivetrain technology is also scalable, which means that an electric drivetrain for two- or three-wheelers can be repurposed for other vehicles like automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and drones, or scaled up for electric four-wheelers in future.

Through the programme, industry partners will embark on three project phases:

  • Explore: Conducting industrial gap analysis to identify problem statements and opportunities in R&D for electric drivetrains
  • Innovate: Forming strategic partnerships to support companies looking to pivot into the EV ecosystem and to enhance the value proposition for companies currently in the ecosystem, leveraging current capabilities to co-develop EV components and modules
  • Create: Engaging in R&D activities to co-create new, novel commercial offerings, as well as support companies in establishing their position in the value chain

“The new programme seeks to catalyse Singapore’s growth into a one-stop solution provider for the electric drivetrain, a core component of electric vehicles. As Singapore and the SEA region embrace the electrification of transport, strong R&D partnerships and new capabilities in manufacturing will allow us to meet growing demand for electric vehicle components and uplift our local manufacturing ecosystem,” said Dr David Low, Executive Director of A*STAR’s SIMTech.

“ION Mobility aims to maintain technology leadership by adopting an end-to-end approach, granting full-stack control over their powertrain. We will partner with A*STAR’s SIMTech via the E-TraM OTP CIP programme to optimise and co-develop advanced motor topology and controller design. This collaboration will lead to high-efficiency and powerful electric motors and controllers, giving our products an edge over competitors in SE Asia,” said Mr James Chan, CEO & Co-Founder, ION Mobility.

“Akribis Systems has been a direct-drive technology company since 2004, providing a wide range of direct-drive motors, drives, controllers and stages to various industries, such as the semiconductor, solar and lithium battery production industries. It is natural for the company to extend its R&D efforts into the area of EV traction motors and drives. The E-TraM OTP CIP programme provides an ideal platform for Akribis to learn from like-minded companies in Singapore. Other than technical specifications and use cases, this collaborative platform could provide up-to-date market intelligence that are relevant and useful to Akribis. These collaborations will help Akribis gain capabilities in developing traction motors and controllers for the EV industry,” said Mr Kong Yong Min, CTO of Akribis Systems Pte Ltd.

ASTAR_E-TraM OTP CIP Programme_1200x630Caption (L to R): Mr Rick Yeo, Director of Manufacturing Productivity Technology Centre, A*STAR’s SIMTech; Mr Shuichi Nakamura, Managing Director, Proterial Asia Pacific Pte Ltd; Mr Sheth Nimitkumar, Senior Manager (Applications Technology), Neo Performance Materials (S) Pte Ltd; Mr Foo Shaur Reng, Chief Engineer, Electronics Hardware PowerDrive Systems, BorgWarner Singapore Holdings Pte Ltd; Mr Kong Yong Min, CTO, Akribis Systems Pte Ltd; Dr David Low, Executive Director, A*STAR’s SIMTech; Prof Yeo Yee Chia, Assistant Chief Executive, Innovation and Enterprise Group, A*STAR; Mr Jeffrey Siow, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, Enterprise Singapore; Prof Lim Keng Hui, Assistant Chief Executive, Science and Engineering Research Council, A*STAR; Mr Ng Say Tiong, President, Giken Sakata (S) Limited; Mr Francis Foo, Vice President, Asia Pacific Regional Centre Head, Power & Sensor Systems Division, Infineon Technologies Asia Pacific Pte Ltd; Mr Kitt Leong, General Manager, Nidec Singapore Pte Ltd; Mr Wu Xianyi, COO, ION Mobility Pte Ltd; Dr Ricky Souw, Group CEO, Sanwa Plastics Industry Pte Ltd; Mr Kevin Lim, Managing Director, MMI Holdings Limited; and Dr Teo Chek Sing, Principal Scientist II, A*STAR’s SIMTech attended the E-TraM OTP CIP Industry Partners Recognition Ceremony on 26 July 2023.

1 Southeast Asia region has the world's highest motorcycle ownership per capita.


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The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector R&D agency. Through open innovation, we collaborate with our partners in both the public and private sectors to benefit the economy and society. As a Science and Technology Organisation, A*STAR bridges the gap between academia and industry. Our research creates economic growth and jobs for Singapore, and enhances lives by improving societal outcomes in healthcare, urban living, and sustainability. A*STAR plays a key role in nurturing scientific talent and leaders for the wider research community and industry. A*STAR’s R&D activities span biomedical sciences to physical sciences and engineering, with research entities primarily located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis.