The nanoFlowcell QUANTiNO — an “affordable” and stylish car featuring a “water battery” and providing 600 miles of range — is now set to debut in a couple of weeks at the Geneva International Auto Show, according to recent reports.
To be specific, the “water battery” in question is a flow cell battery based on the use of two different kinds of non-toxic salt water solutions. The QUANTiNO reportedly features two 45 gallon tanks, which can easily be refilled, to hold the solution.
Overall, an interesting technological solution to transportation energy/fuel needs. Given the contrast between this approach and the other primary ones out there (lithium-ion batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, etc), it’ll be interesting to see what happens with the QUANTiNO.
Gas2 provides some further details:
While the innovative battery represents a true technological breakthrough, the most amazing news is the electric system that propels the car’s 4 electric motors operates on only 48 volts. That’s the same as many cordless power tools. Most electric cars operate on 300 volts or more.
The QUANTiNO is said to generate 136 horsepower, enough to push it to a top speed of 120 mph. The car is a mere 12.8 feet long and configured for 2+2 seating.
So, you’re probably asking yourself right now why the company decided to design the model to run on only 48 volts — the company’s technical officer, Nunzio La Vecchia, explains:
Low-voltage systems offer various advantages over high-voltage systems, such as are used in electric vehicles today. While high-voltage electric vehicles require complete contact and flashover protection, this is not needed for low-voltage vehicles.
In accordance with ECE-R 100, no additional measures to prevent accidental contact are necessary for low-voltage systems. This also gives rise to much faster homologation of low-voltage vehicles, as functional safety is more simple to realize.
A (perhaps) more important question now, though — what exactly does “affordable” mean? People so often use that word, but it means very different things depending on the context.
All that we’ve got to go on in this case is this statement: “The QUANTiNO is an electric vehicle for everyone. Affordable and featuring an extravagant, unique design. It is not just a concept vehicle – it will become reality in the course of this year. We will be driving the QUANTiNO in 2015. And we aim to attain approval for road use very quickly.”
With the auto show where the official unveiling will take place fast approaching, I suppose that we’ll find out soon enough. So much depends on the pricing, so I’m very curious myself to see what it will be like. A price range allowing for broad public appeal? Or an interesting toy to add to Jay Leno’s garage?
The use of a water battery in a production vehicle is really quite interesting, though, so you can count me as intrigued.
Image Credit: nanoFlowcell
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