The flow battery jumped back onto the scene at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show. Liechtenstein-based nanoFLOWCELL unveiled the prototype QUANT e-Sportlimousine. The gull-winged zero-emissions sedan claims a 0-60 time of 2.8 seconds, a top speed of 230 miles per hour and a range of 300 miles. Simply put, the car runs on saltwater.
To put it more technically, a secret mix of lithium, sulfur, powers their flow battery and other metallic salts arranged in a network of nanoparticles and dissolved in water. One tank is positively charged and the other negatively. The proprietary ionic fluid is non-toxic and non-flammable. It can be recharged and pumped back into the car.
The swooping, voluptuous saltwater speedster captured attention with looks that were part Ferrari, part Tesla and part out-of-this-world. The interior includes a broad LED dashboard display and wrap-around wood veneer with integrated touch controls. If ever put into production, the car would likely sell for over a million dollars.
Fueling infrastructure is the number one problem for the e-Sportlimousine. Whatever magic liquid it runs on needs to be sold somewhere and at a reasonable price. To be practical, ionic fluid stations would need to sprout across the globe. The car and the company presenting it looked like a dream that may never become real.
Then nanoFLOWCELL made a pair of announcements in February of 2015. First, it hinted about an upgraded QUANT f-Sportlimousine that is closer to production than the e-model. Next, it revealed its little brother, the QUANTiNO. This prototype would be smaller, less powerful and more affordable.
Finding fuel is still a major issue, but nanoFLOWCELL looks more legitimate with three models instead of only one. Perhaps flow batteries could be a real solution to range anxiety in electric cars.