Quant: Electric car with salt water drive ready for series production

The probability is not very high. But around Stuttgart it could be that one of these days meets a futuristic looking vehicle that carries a logo that sticks to any other automobile so far. If then no engine noise is heard, then it will be the quant. For the currently only copy of the whisper-quiet electric sports sedan, a research vehicle of a new car brand, is currently in Weissach near Stuttgart at a development partner and has recently been approved by the TÜV road legalization. This permission of public transport vehicles is an important step on the way to mass production. What follows is homologation, the approval process that verifies that all the technical details are in compliance with regulatory requirements – from the brakes to the lights and seat belts. So far, so normal. Other manufacturers must also go through these stages on the way to market launch. Sounds like sci-fi, but it’s true. E-car rewards can now be claimed. From July 2016, consumers can apply for premiums when buying an electric car. For a pure e-car, there are 4000 euros “environmental bonus”. For a hybrid car you get 3000 euros. Source: Die Welt But the Quant e sports sedan of Nanoflowcell AG based in Liechtenstein is the first vehicle with a flow cell drive. What sounds like science fiction could do no more than revolutionize electromobility. “We are very fast, full of commitment, push our limits and are a bit ahead of our time,” said the somewhat cloudy statement of Nunzio La Vecchia, technical director at Nanoflowcell, who has designed, developed and built the prototype. In his first appearance at the Geneva Motor Show this spring, the electric car parked in close proximity to the Tesla stand, and should the Quant actually go on sale sometime after the expected for 2015/2016 homologation, then he would be a blatant challenge to the American electropionier. The manufacturer promises at least for the 5.25 meter long research vehicle a continuous output of 653 hp, in the top it would bring the four electric motors even at 925 hp. A maximum torque of four times 2900 Newton meters to catapult the 2.3-ton four-seater with the huge double doors in 2.8 seconds to 100. The final speed is around 350 km / h. That alone is unheard of values ​​for a Stromer, but what makes the competition startled is the range: Nanoflowcell has detected up to 600 kilometers, and there is still room for improvement. “Cavity for a larger tank volume is there,” says company spokesman Volker Pulskamp-Böcking. The prototype can refuel twice 200 liters of fuel. Where fuel is here an electrolyte liquid, an aqueous solution with metal salts. Salopp: salt water. Even ships with a flow cell are conceivable. Simplified, this ionized liquid flows around a membrane in the flow cell from two sides. From one tank comes a positively charged electrolyte, from the other a negative. “This redox reaction generates electrical current,” explains Pulskamp the basic principle. When the processes of reduction and oxidation take place in parallel, experts also call this “cold combustion”. Once patented, the flow cell as an alternative storage technology left the NASA in 1976. Nanoflowcell has picked up on the principle and refined it, but keeps secret how. Compared to the widespread use of lithium-ion technology for batteries in electric cars, the manufacturer speaks of a factor of five in terms of energy density: the possible range is five times greater. Market launch, prices, features, layout and other parameters are not yet decided as early in the development stage as usual. But other vehicle sizes and body shapes are not excluded. “All scenarios are thought through,” says spokesman Pulskamp. According to the ideas of Nanoflowcell AG, large ships with a flow cell drive could sail across the oceans in an environmentally friendly manner in the future, because what comes out of the chimney and exhaust is nothing but steam or harmless granules, depending on the technical process. Or houses could generate their own electricity “as self-sufficient systems” – only the electrolyte tanks would have to be filled regularly. The flow cell technology is already being used for the energy management of wind turbines and solar plants. Immenser liter consumption and still cheaper What you can already say: The new fuel will be cheap. One liter of the electrolyte fluid would be much cheaper than a liter of gasoline. That would be necessary, because the research vehicle needs in the best case about 66 liters of electrolytes. The fuel costs per 100 kilometers should nevertheless be lower. Also refueling itself does not represent a hurdle and is done so fast as in cars with conventional combustion engines. Only: So far there is no infrastructure to fill the gigantic tanks of the Quant, it still exists …


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