nanoFlowcell AG to Unveil a Third Wonder Car at Geneva: the QUANTiNO

Written By: EightySix

nanoflowcell's Quantino to be presented at 2015 Geneva Auto Show

March 3 at the Geneva Auto Show nanoFlowcell AG will debut a remarkable new electric vehicle: the QUANTiNO. This zero-emissions sports coupe promises a top speed of over 120 mph and a range over 600 miles. Each wheel has its own 25 kWh motor combining to provide 136 horsepower to the 13 foot long vehicle. Power comes from nanoFlowcell's proprietary flow battery system. The company is proud to say the QUANTiNO will run on only 48 volts, as opposed to the 360 volts of a Nissan Leaf.

It's only a foot longer than the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, but it's no city car. The QUANTiNO is built like a piranha, flowing with curves and promising a nasty bite. The royal blue paint is accented by an electric blue stripe gliding over the tall front and rear fenders. The sculpted twenty-two inch wheels create a voluptuous figure. A gold lateral line slices horizontally across the door from wheel to wheel.

The scooping front and side intakes with copper accents make it obviously a member of the QUANT family.

The Family Grows

You may remember nanoFlowcell from last year's Geneva show. They revealed the astounding e-Sportlimousine. The 17 foot long gull-winged sedan boasted over 900 horsepower and a theoretical 0-60 of 2.8 seconds. The most amazing claim was a range of over 300 miles on an electrical system that basically ran on salt water.

Quant E by nanoFlowcell (Revealed at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show)

A natural reaction to the QUANT E was that it was too good to be true. Many companies come out with bold and revolutionary ideas. Everyone today expects to become the new Tesla. Instead, many end up as another Fisker. The distance between a flashy prototype and a successful production vehicle is vast. However seductive this ocean blue and copper super car was at first impression, it seemed whimsical that nanoFlowcell would stay in the picture.

Yet February 10 they announced the QUANT F. The next generation Sportlimousine includes numerous technical advances. Range expands to nearly 500 miles. A two speed automatic transmission increases high speed performance. The front axle can now be disengaged for improved top end acceleration and stability. The new two stage spoiler adds down-force relative to velocity.

Quant F by nanoFlowcell (official debut expected at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show)

Both the QUANT F and the QUANTiNO will be displayed at the Geneva Auto Show. In the course of one year, nanoFlowcell has gone from one dream car to three. The company expects to at least put the QUANTiNO on the road for testing this year and intends it to be reasonably priced. It is the Model 3 to Tesla's Roadster. Can they truly deliver an affordable car that fast?

QUANTiNO - nanoFlowcell's newest member (to be officially unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show)

Why Low Voltage?

Why and how has nanoFlowcell created a 48 volt car? Golf carts run on 48 volts.

Voltage is a measurement of electric potential. It describes how much work an electrical system can perform. Electricity, in a way, is like water. Voltage is equal to the water pressure on one end of a closed system relative to the pressure on the other end. High pressure on one end would create a powerful flow capable of doing work, such as turning a turbine. A high voltage system, similarly, can create great power to an engine.

In order to do the same amount of work, such as move a car, a low voltage system would have to draw energy from the battery at a higher current. This creates resistance, resulting in heat. In theory, a low voltage machine would run too hot, reducing efficiency and damaging components.

A system under 50 volts is considerably less hazardous than the 330 volts of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV. Less insulation and arc protection is required. But what is nanoFlowcell doing with the heat?

Perhaps the 350 liters of fluid carried in the fuel tanks helps dissipate the heat. Much about these vehicles is mysterious and closely guarded.

Flow Battery Technology

The flow battery is similar to a hydrogen fuel cell. Rather than volatile hydrogen, nanoFlowcell uses two kinds of non-toxic, inflammable fluids charged with electrolytes and metallic salts. One (the catholyte) is positively charged and the other (the anolyte) is negatively charged. When the fluids are pumped from separate tanks into the battery, one on either side of a membrane, an electric charge is created.

This technology is not new. It was invented in 1884. NASA was experimenting with it to store energy for a moon base in 1973. Until now, the catholytes and anolytes were unsafe chemicals such as uranium, titanium chloride and hydrochloric acid. Once combined to create power, the resulting third fluid was contaminated and unusable.

The chemical composition of the fluid used to fuel nanoFlowcell's vehicles is a house secret. It is safe and natural, the company assures, and the used fluid can be recycled and recharged for future use. The system has no emissions or pollutants.

Show Me the Pump

If nanoFlowcell does get production vehicles for sale, the central problem will be the refueling structure. Gas stations are easy to find. Electricity is readily available at home and increasingly so on the road. Hydrogen stations are far from abundant.

But show me where to fill up my QUANT.

The electrolyte fluid required for a nanoFlowcell battery is a mystery. Is it cleaner and easier to produce than hydrogen for a fuel cell? Will it be cheaper than gasoline? Will it be as green as charging an EV with solar power?

Nevertheless, nanoFlowcell is demonstrating it has more than one beautiful prototype in its garage.