Nanoflowcell technology’s Quant e-Sportlimousine is fast. Its 920 horsepower engine can accelerate this sleekly luxurious car from 0 to 100mph in 2.8 seconds. Its maximum speed is 217.5 mph. Nanoflowcell, maker of a new kind of battery, claims this electric car has a range of 373 miles with a full tank. And when it does run low on fuel, you’ll need to refuel it– with saltwater.
Shouldn’t we take claims of cars powered by water, salt, cold fusion or potatoes with– a grain of salt? Isn’t this too good to be true? Will the region surrounding the Dead Sea soon be the richest in the world?
With a price that may exceed one million dollars, the Quant won’t directly compete with Tesla. But the Quant is real and has already been approved for use on some public roads in Europe.
There is one catch. Like the batteries in electrics car and the gasoline in internal combustion engines, the salt electrolyte is only a convenient way to store energy in the Quant e-sportlimousine. Flow batteries replace conventional electrodes with ionized fluids.
Quant could run on desalination brine
Conventional electric cars can use wind, solar, nuclear or hydroelectric power from utility grids. Its two achilles heels are energy storage density and re-fueling time.
Ordinary gasoline has more than five times the energy storage density of the best lithium air batteries. Electric car recharge times have dropped from half a day to as little as 30 minutes but this is still much slower than pumping gasoline. Electric car companies such as Israel’s Better Place tried to sidestep this problem with battery exchange stations.
Gasoline cars use solar energy but if we were to be fair, their recharge time is fas slower. The gasoline in ordinary cars was “charged” with solar energy over the course of millions of years. It’s only the fact that we found so much of it precharged that allows us to ignore that and avoid that long recharge cycle.
The world needs something that combines the best characteristics of gasoline and electric car energy storage. The flow battery in the Quant e-sportlimousine has some of these characteristics. Refueling would have the familiarity, speed and convenience of refueling a gasoline-powered car. It doesn’t solve every environmental problem in the world, but the flow battery technology behind the Quant e-limousine could become a valuable tool in the world’s transportation and energy infrastructure.
Photos from Nanoflowcell technology