Striking Quants wow the crowds in Geneva. Will they be produced?

nanoFlowcell Quant Geneva Auto Salon

At this week’s Auto Salon in Geneva, the three Quant concept vehicles, built by Leichtenstein-based nanoFlowcell, were drawing a lot of admiring stares. One thing is undisputed: the new Quant F is a beautiful automobile, with huge gull-wing doors, a spaceship-style interior with a vast dashboard display, and lines that flow like the ionized liquids that power it.

The company’s unique powertrain, however, elicits more mixed reactions. In lieu of a traditional battery, Quant vehicles store energy in two tanks of non-flammable liquid electrolytes. The flow battery system, which works like a combination of a battery and a fuel cell, pumps the liquid electrolytes through the cell. At the heart of the system is a membrane that separates two differing chemistries. A controlled exchange of charges releases energy for the electric powertrain.

A company spokesman clarified that the vehicle can’t be charged from an electrical outlet – refueling means replacing the proprietary liquids. The company envisions dispensers being installed at existing gas stations.

While nanoFlowcell obviously has a big challenge to overcome as regards fueling infrastructure, some industry observers have more fundamental doubts about the viability of the company’s flow cell technology, notably the perennially skeptical Jalopnik.

nanoFlowcell is pressing ahead with the homologation process, and expects to have a production vehicle ready a little over two years from now.

nanoFlowcell Quant Geneva Auto Salon (3) copy nanoFlowcell Quant Geneva Auto Salon (5) copy nanoFlowcell Quant Geneva Auto Salon (7) copy nanoFlowcell Quant Geneva Auto Salon

 

Source: nanoFlowcell, Jalopnik
Photos by Charles Morris

  • dogphlap dogphlap

    This guy Nunzio La Vecchia is a bit of a puzzle. His past history screams scam artist. What I can’t understand is why he is so out there. It seems to make no sense that he would court such a high profile when eventually he will have to put up or shut up. Still no sign of independent verification for any of his extraordinary claims.

    • karstenbeate

      He is a skilled fraudster. He has managed to trick an old lady to pay him around 39 million Swiss francs for a non-existing “invention”.

  • Electric Bill

    I too am SUSPICIOUS. TThis La Vecchia guy is creepy… In ever shot, he has this “hair” that looks totally solid, without a single strand out of place, and light, never passes through it, you never see his hairline– you, see his forehead, and just above it you see this impenetrable black THING.

    If you Google his name you see he has two videos, both of which are just as creepy. He makes it look like he’s playing a guitar, but the camera keeps cutting back and forth between his face and a pair of hands skillfully playing a guitar, and you never actually see him playing it. There are several shots of him holding a 12-string, which are notoriously difficult to play. In neither video does he ever appear comfortable or confident, as if he’s worried we’ve got him figured out. There is singing on the videos, but once again, never do you actually see him looking like he is the one who is, singing.

    I looked at every video of him I could find, and he seems to lack any spontaneity, which is a warning sign of a con job. What I’m hoping is that maybe this guy is the geekiest, nerdiest, most awkward dingbat on the planet, and maybe he’s trying to con us that he has some kind of talent singing or playing instruments, but that he really truly does have something to offer when it comes to automotive propulsion.

    Let’s hope… but even then, what he’s offering is something which would require a massive dedicated fueling station network; obviously, anything that works with the convenience of a charging cord, as regular EVs do, would be more practical unless this flow cell system has something else going for it, such as extremely cheap operation, and anything that requires its own dedicated infrastructure that must supply TWO different fluids does not seem to be a very inexpensive way to go.