(Source: Ecostar)  WHERE WOULD WE HAVE STARTED? - It's a chicken and egg situation with EVs needing service stations and service stations needing EVs they can service. Fast charge is not the answer for a truly sustainable society. Fast charge systems damage batteries and put a strain on generating networks, creating peak times when more generating capacity will be required. Motorists don't like the idea that they have to wait so long for energy. The wait instills "range anxiety" in EV users where they are constantly looking at their charge meter and planning for the next stop - for another long wait while their vehicle fast charges. Yet, this is one potential cure for Climate Change, a hot topic at the COP21 talks in Paris in December 2015.

Source (ecostar)

THE CURE - Actually, one cure - there must be others - is a vehicle that exchanges energy cartridges itself using built in loaders. The car then becomes the EGG and the CHICKEN.

* It is the EGG because it creates a need for service stations while serving itself meantime.

* It is also the CHICKEN, because the cartridges that need to be charged creates a need for service stations. That is enough on this subject. This page is about building the car, not the service station - though we'd love that.


Bluebird Marine Systems obtained the rights to a long-forgotten project codenamed "Tomcat" on February the 6th 2014. 'Tomcat' was a project to develop an electric sports car (presently based on Rover running gear). 'Tomcat' was also the project name for a Rover coupe, so please bear this in mind. There are a lot of projects out there with similar names. Ours is the only electric Tomcat, as far as we know.

BMS ramped up the electric Tomcat project in typical DC style, to incorporate brand new (higher performance) patent battery cartridge technology - for instant recharging and the ability to change from battery to fuel cell technology at the flick of a switch. Important where vehicle makers are hedging their bets as to what energy source to put in their electric cars.


The car pictured here held the world recharging record at the time of construction - and so far as we know that record set in 1999 stands unbroken, a bit like Burt Munro's Indian Scout 45. The closest, at three minutes, was the Better Place system until Tesla lowered that to 90 seconds.

With our safer, low-voltage system, we are aiming for running costs equal to 100 + miles per gallon. The range of the car when fitted with a special transmission is likely to exceed 300 miles per cartridge exchange (or battery charge) and offer sporty performance. To begin with we will not be developing this transmission. This is a low budget research project that is suitable for funding under the Horizon 2020 scheme, or other local enterprise initiatives.

The ECOSTAR DC50, also known affectionately as the Tomcat (or project BE4) as there are a couple of friendlies patrolling the grounds, is to be powered by the famous Lynch DC motors to produce 50kW, hence the DC50 legend. The car may also be fitted with an onboard generator in the later stages of the project, turning it into a hybrid - also likely to return above 100 miles per gallon.  This will provide a means of keeping going, where either battery exchange is not practical or where a convenient charge point is not to hand.


Unlike other fast energy transfer systems, only vehicles with cartridge exchange may swap between fuels at the flick of a switch. The versatility that this offers is truly the means to convert gently to a sustainable zero carbon transport system. Ideally, this would be coupled with our vision for low cost infrastructure support, which we would like to see phased in over the next 10 to 20 years. We would love to be in a position to undertake a feasibility study, then to be able to construct a working pre-production prototype.


The roof of the DC50 is to be fitted with solar panels to supplement the already comprehensive EV technology.  The PV panels will give between 1,000-2,500 free motoring miles per year, depending on usage and geographical location. We operate on the south-east coast of England. Solar powered service stations are on our drawing board, that are KISS simple and cost effective.


Energy that is typically lost in a conventional vehicle, may be harvested for future developments of the 'BE' series of vehicles, to include piezo-electric generation from suspension vibration, shock absorbers and body parts, combined with smart energy trackers.

This may be achieved by replacing the existing hydrolastic suspension with suitably modified components. This could include piezo-electric chips embedded in the rubber cone compound.

By way of example, CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES has developed several types of piezoelectric actuators displaying interesting properties for vibration and shock-energy harvesting.  Among them, Amplified Piezoelectric Actuators (APA®) combined with mass operating are especially interesting piezoelectric generators. Cedrat may easily define customised piezo generators for vibration or shock-energy harvesting. We will bear this in mind should research funds materialize.


Vehicle onboard energy storage may be enhanced by using body panels made from multifunctional materials, where the body has a battery embedded in the structure. The drawback here is time of charging, where changing car bodies is impractical. This may be overcome using solar and piezoelectric harvesting to charge the available additional capacity. This is though for later research.

Concept for a 7.68MW service station that can refuel 2 electric cars a minute. Five such stations could cater for a town the size of Eastbourne.


There is hardly any point dwelling on Service Forecourts at this stage, but any good project manager thinks a hundred light years ahead at possible scenarios - and one such scenario is rather tantalizing. That is of course a means of storing energy for a hydrogen based European (World) community.

Our vision is that cartridge storage that is interchangeable between batteries and hydrogen, would give us as easy way to ask the public to invest in vehicles, that are in effect future proofed. It's a terrible decision that one has to make, such as investing in VHS or BETAMAX, and now DVD or BLURAY. How many times do we have to throw away a complete collection of films and re-purchase in another format.

Not so with the Bluebird™ service forecourts of the future, provided that you have bought a vehicle with compatible cartridges in the first place. (We say that because at the moment there is a competing system. There is always a competing system.) So, lets assume that you have purchased a vehicle with the Bluebird™ cartridge system - and for that we have to imagine that we have already developed that system - for that dinky little car above, then you can swap between storage mediums at no cost. How?

That is because with the Bluebird™ Pay As You Drive system, you don't own the cartridge you are using. You in effect hire it short term. This is the social business model that can make it work. It is called PAYD. We will reveal more on this, should we achieve funding to carry out a feasibility study.