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The Wolrd's first hydrogen cartridge car, ammonia, methanol and compressed gas compatibility - for future proofed EVs







YOU LITTLE BEAUTY - It may look like a Bugatti, but this hand-built compact gull-wing sports car is not an Italian stallion, it is a British bulldog. Electric cars were more popular as a mode of transport, until the electric starter motor made it easy to operate petrol and diesel engines, powered by fossil fuels. Today the challenge is to make automotive transport clean, in a sustainable world, for a healthier future. The city sports car from 2014 is seen here in it's display case, in Sussex, England. Imagine cars like this on the road, powered by ammonia, methanol or compressed hydrogen. The inbuilt cartridge system means it can swap between fuel technology at the flick of a switch. In reality, around 90 - 120 seconds. Around $150,000 dollars would see this (or a very similar design) vehicle with a body, trimmed upholstery and a prototype 'universal' cartridge design. If designed and completed by students. Otherwise, add at least another two zeros. But even so, where would that funding come from? The JVH2 may help entrepreneurs raise interest, with live projects like this and philanthropic support.







The world's first EV, fitted with a hydrogen cartridge exchange system, was hand built in Sussex, England, by a small team of students, design conceived in 2013, built in 2014.


The gull wing sports car features a steel spaceframe, originally running on two or four 48 volt Lynch DC motors (40kW [53hp]), but designed to be upgraded to 200kW (268hp) all wheel drive, for a blistering 200mph performance, in a very stylish compact city sports car. Wow!


The running gear is from the Austin Metro range, disc/drum brakes combination, rubber cone suspension all round, wishbones at front, with trailing arms at the rear.




The EU bans petrol and diesel cars by 2035. The UK by 2030.

The only way to turbo-charge change, is with clean statute. Well done to the EU February 2023. Manufacturers will now have to build zero carbon cars. Let us hope they do not wait until the last minute. Energy companies will need to follow suite with infrastructure, or lose their grip on transport fuels. Great news for those considering entering the JVH2. At the moment it is the lack of alternative fuels at filling stations, that is the log jam.




The cartridge exchange system allows the operator to switch between compressed gas, liquid hydrogen, ammonia, or methanol, by way of future proofing the fuel cell powered electric vehicle. Since, at time of construction, and time of writing (March 2023) there was no infrastructure to support either of the technologies. There is though a move by the UK government to abolish sales of diesel and petrol powered vehicle by 2035. Meaning, the energy supply companies will have to get a move on.


This car was way ahead of it's time. Today, most FC EVs use compressed H2, at 350 or 700psi, in special high-pressure cylinders that are bolted into the vehicle. Using ammonia or methanol via a reformer is potentially much safer, though Toyota and Honda use cylinders, and there are also liquid hydrogen systems. All of which may be accommodated in a Smart Networked infrastructure.





The car seen here was built by students in 2014 - conceived in 2013. It features a rapid hydrogen cartridge exchange system - taking just a couple of minutes - standalone, or in a suitably equipped service station. Patent fees were prohibitive, without grant support. Leaving the car as a heritage item (Museum Exhibit in Sussex, England), being the first in the world with such a system installed. Why not future proof your world hydrogen trophy entry, by installing a removable cartridge. Chris and Terry are seen here checking clearance for the driver and passenger, inside a cockpit, not yet finalized in AutoCad.








This very compact (unbranded) sports concept car incorporated the 'SmartNet' system, well before the trade name existed. It is though compatible with the flat-pack hydrogen energy storage cartridges designed for trucks and van swaps. But there is no statute compelling energy companies to develop such load levelling technology for the electricity and distribution supply industry - by way of a renewables infrastructure - which Ofgem has said is unfit for purpose. Where at the moment the UK government (as one example) are paying £millions in fines every month, to turn wind turbines off.








Students learned a variety of skills during this project. All coming to the workshops, having had no previous experience.


They learned how to cut wood, shape foam, bend and drill metal and weld steel frames. Using only hand tools and their imagination.


The tutor also showed the students how to use AutoCad to solve particular design issues.








The students also discovered how to creatively design, watching and participating as an idea was conceived and grew, before being translated into a working vehicle - on a very low budget. Dare we say shoestring.


It is with projects like this that the energy champions of the future, might one day, put into practice what they learned in small workshops in the countryside.


The gull wing doors were a necessary design feature, since the car is so low to the ground. As with the Mercedes 360, they found it was the only way to gain comfortable access, especially when parking in car parks and other confined spaces.










This is a small model of a service station that stores energy in hydrogen (ammonia or methanol) cartridges. Trucks and cars can be refueled in a couple of minutes using such a system. With the added benefit to energy companies, that the energy stored may be returned to the grid during supply shortages. When the turbines in Scotland and offshore would normally be turned off, and all those £millions wasted, a network of flatpack stations like that proposed, would soak up the energy. Saving UK citizens quite a bit from their energy bill.


In Europe, small concerns do not qualify for funding under Horizon Europe, previously Horizon 2020. They always fall at the financial hurdle. The same applies in the UK with match funding. But, we think we have shown here, that SMEs can produce results on very small budgets.





Unfortunately for the student team that built this gull wing special, there was no such thing as the: "World Hydrogen Trophy," in 2014. The car ran nicely during development trials. The loading and unloading of cartridges was timed at 80 seconds and 100 seconds. But the carbon fibre bodywork was never completed, due to the extra expense - and disbanding of the team, who all have day jobs now. Maybe one day.


The cartridge system is compatible with the SmartNet® concept, energy load-levelling service stations, proposed as a solution to the waste of wind energy in the UK. This was suggested to UK officials and electricity distributors in 2021, but not acted on. It has even been suggested that the patent system might be amended to allow green patents to be filed, free of filing fees - to level the playing field for young innovators - when competing with giant automotive concerns. But this suggestion was also given the official cold shoulder by the minister responsible.






The world's 1st car with a hydrogen cartridge exchange system for ammonia, methanol or liquid gas














ONE MINUTE - Amoco pumps at one of the 'Minute' service stations networked across the USA. For the first 25 years of motoring, petrol pumps did not exist. Instead, people were required to buy fuel in two-gallon cans from their nearest chemist, hardware shop or hotel. The world’s first filling station was a drugstore, still standing at Stadt-Apotheke – or Town Pharmacy – in Wiesloch, south of Heidelberg, Germany. This was where Bertha Benz first refuelled her husband’s Motorwagen. Her husband being Karl Benz. His 1886 patent for a horseless carriage is the first for an automobile designed to produce its own power. It was a tricycle with a motor, and used spoked-wire wheels, differential gears, and chains widely used on the bicycles of the day. Benz was a bicyclist.

In August 1888, without her husband’s knowledge, Bertha took the third version of the car for its first long-distance journey, a 65 mile drive on rough roads from Mannheim to Pforzheim, the world’s first long distance car journey. (Coincidentally, the world’s first bicycle journey was started in the same town, by Baron Von Drais, back in 1817).

The first petrol station in the UK was opened in November 1919 at Aldermaston, Berkshire by the Automobile Association (AA). It had a single, hand-operated pump and motorists were greeted by AA petrol staff in full uniform. During this post-war period, the AA was trying to promote the sale of British-made benzole fuel which was a by-product of burning coal. While benzole had been readily available from Russia, this deal was tainted by the 1917 Russian Revolution and the rise of the Bolsheviks. The initiative was successful, and the AA opened another seven filling stations. A total of 7,000 pumps were in operation by 1923. 








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