When the European company nanoFlowcell AG debuted its unique electric concept car at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, the buzz was immediate. Word quickly spread that the Quant e-Sportlimousine was the first viable electric vehicle powered by salt water.
That isn’t quite the case, but it is kinda-sorta the case, and in this instance “kinda-sorta” is actually pretty impressive. The Quant vehicle doesn’t run on salt water, but instead uses tanks of charged electrolyte fluids — salt water, technically speaking — to store potential energy with improved efficiency. As such, the nanoFlowcell system can provide a much greater range than a conventional electric car battery, say the designers.
The Quant crew will be returning to Geneva next month with the second iteration of the vehicle, dubbed the Quant F. The new car has a range of 800 kilometers (about 500 miles) when fully charged, with a top speed of 300 km/h (186 mph), according to the press materials.
Those are some pretty impressive numbers in the realm of electric vehicles. The Quant F has separate motors running all four wheels, and a two-speed transmission with peak horsepower at 1090 hp. Two 250-liter tanks hold the ionic fluids, which are run through a unique kind of fuel cell stack to generate energy. The lightweight carbon fiber frame has been completely re-engineered, as well.
So, yeah: The Quant car isn’t technically powered by salt water at all — the ionic fluids are a storage medium, not a fuel, and must be charged up like any other battery. But as an alternative energy system, the nanoFlowcell power technology appears to be entirely promising and commercially viable. The car received street-legal certification in Europe last year, and a limited production run is in early planning stages.
Oh, also this, from the official press release: “The front lights of the Quant F now have the appearance of eyes with pupils.” So that’s nice.
Credit: nanoFlowcell AG