An emissions-free electric roadster that runs on liquid ‘fuel’ could be on the way. The QUANTino from European innovators nanoFlowcell uses a flow battery instead of the lithium-ion cells that we’ve become accustomed to seeing in EVs.
The technology uses two different liquids, one called an anolyte and the other a catholyte which ‘flow’ past a membrane generating electricity in the process. Like your old lead-acid battery, once depleted the unit can be refreshed with an electrical charge, or by replacing the liquids, which would be much faster.
nanoFlowcell has developed its energy storage system for use in off-grid power supply and back-up power supplies, as well as mobile robotics, but the company is also convinced it is perfect for cars and has designed two sports cars: the crazy QUANT and more approachable QUANTiNO. Where the QUANT promises 760 hp and a 0-62 mph time of just 2.4 seconds, the 108 hp QUANTiNO takes five seconds to reach 62 mph and tops out at 120 mph. What’s more it can travel over 600 miles on a tank of electrolyte fuel. Testing has reportedly included 14 hours of non-stop driving, without having to refuel and nanoFlowcell says it has driven prototypes for more than 200,000 miles.
CEO Nunzio La Vecchia is planning a QUANT-City development and production facility in the USA. “The USA. is the right market for QUANTiNO – we could produce the Roadster 100 per cent locally,” he says. “The production of the QUANT or QUANTiNO is not a challenge for us. Both models are fully developed and have received detailed specification plans.”
It’s a very tempting proposition, offering the performance and environmental benefits of battery electric vehicles with the convenience of rapid refuelling that gas cars have delivered for over a century. As to when you can expect to see them on the road, it might be best not to hold your breath. “The best electric car won’t run if it lacks power. Without being able to provide delivery guarantees for our bi-ION® electrolyte fuel, we don’t need to discuss the production date of our vehicles,” adds La Vecchia.