Electric cars are not new. At all.
More than a hundred years ago, Thomas Edison, the mastermind behind the light bulb, said electricity was the future because all of the oil would be pumped out of the ground, but it was decided that more money could be made taxing gasoline. The first electric cars were actually developed by various people in Hungary, USA, Netherland, England, France, Austria and Germany during 1830 and 1900.
The difficulties of production and operation also terminated Edison’s electric car plan because it was impossible to massively manufacture affordable and lightweight storage batteries for long distances without recharging. Even in 1912, the cost of Edison’s electric car made it twice the cost of a contemporary gasoline car with poorer performance due to the limitations of batteries. Sales of electric cars peaked in the early 1910s.
Fortunately, the automotive industry, car ownership, and how we move from point A and B will change more in the next 20 years than in the previous 100 years. Electrification, autonomous driving and shared mobility of cars will radically transform the business model of the automotive industry over the next two decades.
Electrification of cars is proceeding at a fast pace. The biggest obstacle from a century ago has been the battery price and weight culminating in a drivable range too short to be practical. Technology and price development from increased investment volumes into larger factory sizes are changing the picture.
Charging issues, like speed, availability, ownership, standards and invoicing are getting solved with the expanding fleets on the road. Tanktwo technology is solving both of these problems by boosting the speed of transition. It is now possible to manufacture portable batteries for long distances at a reasonable cost.
Straying from the beaten path, CEO Bert Holtappels and his Tanktwo team decided to tackle the issues of battery inefficiency through interdisciplinary solutions. Rather than try to improve on the traditional vehicle battery, Tanktwo decided to draw inspiration from the telecom industry by creating liquified energy; instead of utilizing traditional rectangular batteries, Tanktwo pours several thousand string cells randomly into a car’s string tanks, creating thousands of contact points between cells. The String Cells algorithms map the optimum connection routes to make the String Cells work as one logical, large battery pack.
How Does Tanktwo Work?
The Tanktwo system consists of four main components, namely; String Cells, String Tank, Cells Swap Station and Tanktwo Cloud.
– The String Cells contain the same amount of energy capacity as a standard 18650 cell (as used by Tesla), integrated cell management system, unique ID and communication capability. They are slowly charged in the vehicle, or in the Cell Swap station.
(String Cell pictures)
– The String Tank Is the container located in the vehicle that is filled with the String Cells. In less than 3 minutes the freshly charged String Cells can be swapped in at a Cell Swap Station.
– The Cell Swap Station is the equivalent of a conventional gas station where vehicles can exchange empty cells with fully charged ones fully automatically, without any user involvement.
– The Tanktwo Cloud runs proprietary algorithms that securely and objectively define the value of each String Cell in real time.
Why String Cells?
The benefits of replacing traditional vehicle batteries with string cells are notable. The vehicle battery energy can be restored more than ten times faster than the best “Super Chargers” available in the market, allowing for 24/7 utilization of Tanktwo equipped vehicles. The string cell technology reduces the average EV battery cost by 40-80% compared to today’s best in class technology by utilising the possibility to define the pack individually. The latest price and chemistry development can be used since the String Cells are chemistry independent and fully backward compatible.
The String Cell technology not only reduces the greenhouse emission of cars, but also fits well for home delivery fleets (like Amazon, or Post), city buses driving a scheduled route, electric forklifts in a warehouse or marine shuttle vessels operating tight schedule. All these industries are struggling today with the challenge of fast charging and affordable batteries, which can ruin the availability and operational efficiency.
According to Holtappels, Tanktwo’s String Cell solution offers a promising improvement that could help enhance the range and power of electric cars, eventually making electric vehicles more competitive. Combined global sales of all-electric cars and utility vans surpassed one million units already last year. According to Bloomberg, the global market for electric vehicles will hit 41 million by 2040, representing 35% of new car sales, provided that automakers have addressed the challenge of battery cost, range, and mobility.
In the near decades, as Thomas Edison, the greatest American innovator, predicted, electrification of cars would be the future for the automobile industry.
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