VNA Development & Market History

Following 2 previously successful fundraises, and the successful conclusion of their Stage 1A project, VN Automotive Ltd in 2017 successfully raised a further £604,000 in a Round 3 funding to further develop their fully patented Electro Hydrogen Generator technology “EHG”. The company planned to monetise the technology via licencing agreements with major commercial vehicle and automotive engine manufacturers. Those manufacturers being under significant legislative pressure from governments around the world to reduce CO₂ emissions and to increase fuel efficiency or face large fines from 2013 for every internal combustion engine they build that does not meet the legislation targets.

What was the 2014 opportunity & why did it exist?

  • The automotive manufacturing industry was being driven by global legislation to reduce the amount of CO2 their vehicles emit
  • Efforts to date have produced mixed results, but many manufacturers have not reached the 130g/km required. Post 2015 legislation requires a further 30% reduction from the 130g/km figure to 95g/kg
  • The ability to co-fire onboard produced hydrogen with conventional fossil fuels provided the industry with a viable solution

What is the technology and how proven is it?

  • The EHG was invented by a Science team at the Frumkin Institute, Moscow & initially patented in that country, after building and testing EHG versions 1,2 & 3
  • The results were vetted by a UK Trade Investment professional research team & brought to UK as a ‘Technology of Exceptional Global Potential’
  • The UK Team built an EHG4-M under the auspices of Professor Keith Scott of Newcastle University & carried out extensive testing at Intertek-Tickford
  • The EHG technology produces Hydrogen more ‘efficiently’ & ‘more cost effectively’ that any other known technology today
  • Patented in 27 Countries VNA. Revenues to be delivered by licence sales to the:
  • Static engine manufacturers.
  • HGV engine and OEM manufacturers
  • Passenger Car Automotive Manufacturers
  • Prototype design & creation charges to ‘short-run’ specialist engine manufacturers

Development – Milestones & Timeline

  • 3-5years in development before revenues generated
    • First Contract signed with Tier 2 LPG conversion company

DieselGate 2015 The Collapse of the Automotive industry

  • “Dieselgate” was a scandal that started during the height of diesel car popularity, and its ramifications echo down today.
  • In the early 2000s, as Tony Blair was planning the diesel tax cuts, then chief scientist, Sir David King supported the Prime Minister, despite knowing that diesel cars produced high levels of nitrogen dioxide.
  • Accusations about testing methods were raised, but car manufacturers assured watchdogs that all was well. The EU was aware that some car manufacturers were using “defeat devices” to cheat exhaust emissions readings. In 2007, they put a ban on these devices.
  • Four years later, an EU commission discovered that the levels of harmful nitrogen dioxide emissions in a number of cars were 14 times higher than EU standards. Other studies showed how diesel cars polluted way above levels achieved in a laboratory when under real-world driving conditions. One report found that diesel cars were putting out 25 times the legal limit on the road.
  • This all came to a head in the USA in 2015. The Environmental Protection Agency accused Volkswagen of installing illegal emission manipulation devices. VW admitted fault, but stayed quiet on the details. But, when the Justice Department started investigating, they uncovered something shocking.
    Volkswagen had been lying about how green their diesel cars were for years
  • More than half a million cars in the US were installed with defeat devices that had been putting out fake readings on emissions tests since 2005. There are even claims that VW’s supplier, Bosch, sent a letter of warning against the illegal use of its technology
  • VW’s stock went into freefall and within a month they admitted that defect devices were installed in over two million cars across the VW range, as well as in Audi and Skoda models.
  • By the end of 2015, VW recalled over 8.5 million cars, admitting that they had cheated on CO2 emissions as well as nitrogen oxide emissions. The company was hounded in the courts by governments all over the world.

Court battles raged for the next two years, with VW paying out billions. Allegations against Bosch of being involved in the affair become more substantial, with documents used in a US court saying manipulations in emissions tests had been “an open secret” between VW and its subcontractor.

The Fallout
The government announced in 2020 that the sale of new petrol and diesel cars will be banned by 2030, along with most hybrid cars that use existing technology.

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The Automotive / ICE Landscape in 2021

  • Sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the European Union almost trebled to over 1 million vehicles last year, accounting for more than 10% of overall sales, data showed on Thursday.
  • The jump in sales shows electrified vehicles are becoming more mainstream products after years of being a niche market and it came at a time when overall EU car sales plunged nearly 24% to 9.9 million because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
  • The data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) showed sales of fully-electric and plug-in hybrids surged to 1.046 million vehicles from 387,808 in 2019.
  • Sales of self-charging hybrid cars climbed 59% to 1.182 million last year while petrol and diesel vehicle sales fell 37% and 32% respectively, the data showed. Petrol cars remained the biggest seller, however, accounting for 48% of all EU sales.
  • As well as having to meet stringent new EU carbon emissions targets, carmakers benefited from government subsidies for electric vehicles as part of pandemic recovery programmes, especially in France and Germany.
  • Sales of fully-electric vehicles more than doubled to 538,772 from 247,854 a year earlier.
  • Heavy Goods Vehicles still require fossil fuel engines due to the weight to power ratio required
  • JCB design and test the first Hydrogen fuelled Commercial Engine

EHG Applications in Todays Automotive Landscape

Direct Exhaust injection for emission suppression (AdBlue replacement in HGV’s)

The New Maritime Market Opportunity

  • Key to the survival of the Maritime shipping industry is the significant reduction of emissions, as new legislation forces shipping lines to adopt new technologies so they can continue to operate.
  • The challenges surrounding battery-driven ships has helped lead to significant investment into using Ammonia as a replacement fuel for large marine diesel engines. However, ammonia requires the addition of an accelerant to ensure the combustion process is fast enough to deliver the efficiencies and emissions reductions needed for this solution to be effective. Accelerants currently being investigated include natural gas, diesel fuel and hydrogen.
  • Hydrogen is the focus for almost all of the development being done today. Automotive & Marine Solutions is developing the EHG technology in conjunction with Nottingham, Newcastle & Reading Universities to create an efficient ship-borne electrolyser creating hydrogen, using existing waste energy streams to derive non-parasitic rotational force and heat.

EHG Technology offers a green, cost effective solution to provide an onboard hydrogen accelerant solution to the maritime industry at half the cost of existing technologies.

It is also:

  • 25% more efficient than existing technologies
  • Quicker and simpler to build than existing technologies
  • Uses ‘off the shelf’ materials in its construction
  • Is being developed in a fully funded ESPCR project incl. Nottingham, Reading and Newcastle Universities