At the Geneva Motor Show in March, German firm Quant revealed a car powered by what it called ‘nanoFLOWCELL’ technology.
Now, the flow-cell vehicle will make its road-going debut, as the car has been approved for real-world testing by the TÜV, or Technischer Überwachungsverein, Germany’s road safety monitoring agency.
The first thing most will notice about the Quant e-Sportlimousine is its stunning styling. With a low hood line, double-bubble roof, and single-piece gull wing doors it manages to look new and distinctive without resorting to the kind of overt weirdness that might turn people off.
But it’s that flow-cell technology that deserves real attention.
Flow cells could be described as a cross between regular batteries and fuel-cells. Liquid electrolyte is circled through two tanks, between which is a membrane. Electrical charge passes through this membrane from one cell to the other, producing power for an electric drivetrain.
It’s that simple, but the flow-cell’s makers suggest it has high charge density, high performance density and low weight–enough for five times greater performance than a lithium-ion battery of equivalent weight.
The company thus quotes a range of 600 kilometers (372 miles). That’s from a flow-cell with 120 kWh of storage capacity–more than a Tesla Model S–but the company’s claims imply the flow-cell itself should weigh a lot less than a lithium-ion battery pack.
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