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Better Place were too far ahead of their time with the EV service station above. This advanced unit could exchange battery cartridges in minutes, rather than use plug in charging, but could not cater for hydrogen vehicles or offer load levelling for national grids as with the SmartNet™ system. When it comes to handling hydrogen, the proposed stations are potentially safer than any piped gas system. Homologation could take place in spite of OEMs stakeholdings, if they continue to remain aloof to the infrastructure problem, via independent automotive and energy consultants.





What such a system offers is EV makers a way to equip future models (cars and taxis) with automated refuelling, simply by adapting their platforms to accept modular energy cartridges, in the slot a battery pack would fit. Granted, such conversion rests on SmartNet, proceeding through prototype, to production - to reduce the leap of faith - in a chicken and egg situation.


But, mainly, the system is a bulk energy store for Grid load levelling. Identified as a major obstacle to low cost renewable electricity.


The proposed universal format includes expansion for ammonia NH3, hydrogen, lithium and methanol CH3OH, chemistry. But the base unit remains identical, such as to standardize energy cartridges - as future proofing for hedge fund investors, automotive, marine manufacturers and fleet operators. And of course, policy makers looking for a way to accelerate the transition to net zero sustainability - and rid their economy of reliance on fossil fuel imports and subsidies. Indeed, the way to increase the strength of an economy, is to build an infrastructure based on green renewables. It's also good for your United Nations, COP27 pledges in 2022 on the way to 2030 and beyond.


The European Commission under Ursula von der-Leyen's leadership is forging ahead with green hydrogen production. Hence, the EU is where we'd be most likely to find development partners willing to consider a lever to push development and investment faster. Unfortunately for us, we were somewhat hamstrung by Brexit obfuscation. Though we are officially assured that the UK will guarantee our inclusion.*


For van and truck OEMs, it is an easier decision. A kit simply bolts to the underside of their existing chassis, and in a couple of hours your EV (typically) is compatible with the SmartNet system. Overcoming the chicken and egg situation to a greater extent, but only when there are smarter services stations in existence. Hence, to make it happen, we need the service stations as a, affordable turnkey option.


The SmartNet™ 'universal' energy cartridge is the beating heart of SmartNet™ service stations. They are a modular design, to allow supply of different capacities to different vehicles. The 'smarter' service stations are geared to this concept, such that your hatchback, and an 18 wheel truck, can both share the same technology from the same service station.





Henrietta the newly hatched chick thinks she may have cracked it



CLEANING UP OUR ACT - Henrietta the hatchling chick, thinks she may have something to chirp about. She thinks she may have cracked it, without spilling the yolk. But she doesn't know enough about fuel cells and geodata to put it all together is a feasible form. She thinks we need a feasibility study, and other R&D to make it happen. She's got us chirping about it.




The system is based on a popular size for a container in which it is possible to house fuel cells and hydrogen storage cylinders and/or lithium batteries, methanol and ammonia (as that format is developed) including control electronics, such that the containers are interchangeable when used to provide energy for electrically propelled vehicles. This is only possible with our special loading and connection arrangement - coupled to a versatile delivery system.


In that these energy cartridges may contain different storage and methods for battery and fuel cell vehicles, we like to call them (and they are deemed to be) "Universal."


This is most suitable, especially for commercial vans and trucks, but also for automated or autonomously unmanned, artificially intelligent, self drive vehicles such as robotaxis and passenger vehicles, where, with an unmanned vehicle, there are no humans in the chain to execute nozzle couplings, or plug-in charging, but where with the Smartnet™ system, the container forms a cartridge that is exchanged to refuel vehicles so equipped.


The other aim of such a design, being to be able to mass produce an energy cartridge for vehicle OEMs to adopt, the versatile multi-fuel energy cartridge also being compatible with SmartNet™ recharging stations, for the purpose of automated refuelling of, for example, robotrucks.


Automated, or self drive autonomous vehicles will need an energy infrastructure that allows automation (like a vending machine) for billing and payment transactions at energy exchanges. Most OEMs have been fighting shy of meshing with the need for such a versatile EV infrastructure, but when it comes to roadside servicing and autonomous robotic vehicles such as Robotaxis and Robotrucks, these unmanned vehicles will need a way of refuelling that does not involve human intervention in normal use, if a truly convenient and continuous service is to operated.


One can imagine that fully operational, other public transportation services may be supplanted. Such as buses that are typically crowded and lack privacy. Though, there is nothing to stop robotic bus services from cutting the cost of operating scheduled routes, the ability to hail a taxi from anywhere to go anywhere is a distinct advantage.


The other component of the SmartNet™ system is Pay As You Drive (PAYD). This allows robotic vehicles to recharge, without a human in sight.




*  The official position is that the UK has applied for association to Horizon Europe but that the EU has yet to formalise this. 

However, both the UK Government and the EU have made it clear that UK companies do not need to wait for formal association to apply for funding. You can see more about their positions here:

   • From UKRI:

   • From the European Commission: UK participation in Horizon Europe

In November 2021, the UK Government announced that it will underwrite any applications for organisations applying under the first wave of calls, so that they can continue to participate in Horizon Europe projects even if formal association has not yet been approved. Further details of how this will work and the eligibility criteria can be found here:

To answer the specific issue in the first question, as I understand both the European Commission guidance and the UK guarantee notice, a UK company applying as part of the consortium should be treated as if it comes from an Associated Country right through the process, up to the point that any successful application reaches the point of signing the grant agreement.


If, at that point, the UK’s association to Horizon Europe has still not been formalised, the UK participant may be asked to become an “Associated Partner” instead. Such a partner does not sign the grant agreement and the costs of their participation would be covered by the UK Government guarantee for the lifetime of the project (i.e. even if the UK becomes formally associated once their project starts, their UK grant would continue).






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