by Bert Holtappels, Founder & CEO
Tanktwo is a product of the many “DUH, of course that is what’s going to happen!” moments I had over the past three decades.
As a teenager growing up in an isolated farming community in Belgium during the eighties, I was critically dependent on beige computers and screechy modems to connect with (mostly equally nerdy) people halfway across the world. Sitting in a cellar, I realized the internet’s massive potential. And change the world, it did.
In university, my thesis project illustrated how GPS could be used for optimizing traffic flow. It was essentially a doppelganger of Google Maps years before the technology was in the hands of the public.
After graduation, I moved to Finland and joined Nokia, where the wireless revolution was taking shape and set to impact billions in the world.
While at Nokia, I developed unique insights that allowed me to connect the dots — the game-changing technologies developed over the past decades in electrification, mobility, and data — and how they’ll (re)define the global big picture for the next decades.
Now, we have all the pieces of the puzzle: oil pricing, global warming, regulations, geopolitical instability, carbon emissions quota trading, solar panel, denuclearization, etc. are all happening right under our nose and it’s time to act on them.
As I realized early on, the first to put the different parts together at scale will have a home run in his hands.
I don’t want yet another “DUH” moment. I was determined to be on driving the bandwagon instead of sitting on the sideline.
Tanktwo is positioned at the crossroad where all the global influences converge into a future where efficiency and optimization of existing technologies will be exponentially more valuable than the incremental improvement of the discrete pieces.
We envision a future in which…
Assets, such as batteries, will never sit idle. We can optimize their utilization to maximize profits and eliminate wastes.
We can track and manage not only all the vehicles but also each battery that powers them to fully optimize the potential of every cell.
No one has to wait for a battery to charge thanks to off-board charging. We can simply run a cell swap for vehicles that truly need to be on the go without delay. (Imagine calling 911 and hearing “sorry, our ambulance is for another 20 minutes at the supercharger”… that simply won’t fly!)
We can redeploy individual batteries to eliminate range anxiety without adding unnecessary weight. (E.g., if an electric bus is assigned to a shorter route, $50,000 worth of batteries can be siphoned off to power five taxis without impacting the performance of the bus.)
I invented the String Cells — which would become the most iconic and tangible piece of our complex ecosystem. Meanwhile, Nokia’s restructuring gave me access to a large pool of incredibly talented engineers who were involved in developing everything from the final form factor for the string cells to the algorithms that drive the network (e.g., the engineer who designed our security system invented one of the foundational parts of the 3G phone system.)
We’re leveraging proven technologies from the three major areas of innovation of the century — electrification, mobility, and data — to create a resource optimization system that has never existed before.
Currently, we own 23 patents across 7 patent families. And the team continues to surprise me with innovative ideas at every turn.
Of course, building a company is more than just making a product. To tap into the potential of emerging technologies, I relocated the business to New York City to access international funding and a global customer base.
Our first US-based customer is the global leader in defense technologies. The fact that we’re able to land and grow this account as a corporation led by an initially non-US team is a testament to the unique value and capabilities our technologies bring to the table.
The string cells and electrification are just the beginning. Our system is designed to position the company at the “optimization crossroad” of any vertical, in any industry, and at any scale.