So many companies claim to have developed the future of road car propulsion that those making genuine strides run the risk of being ignored. Luckily, German firm Quant is avoiding such a fate, as its innovative ‘flow-cell’-powered vehicle has just been approved for real-world testing by the German TÃV safety body.
The Quant e-Sportlimousine was first revealed at the Geneva Motor Show back in March, powered by what the company called ‘nanoFLOWCELL’ technology. In essence, flow-cells combine characteristics of a traditional battery, and fuel cells. Electrolyte fluid is circulated around two cells mounted side-by-side. Between these cells is a membrane that allows electrons to pass through. The electrical current generated from this flow of electrons can be used to power a vehicleâand that’s exactly how the e-Sportlimousine works.
Quant says the car has a torque output of "four times" 2,900 newton-meters (2,138 lb-ft), and the car’s acceleration figures certainly suggest there’s plenty of power. 62 mph is swept away in 2.8 seconds, and the car will press on to "over" 217 mph. The company claims several advantages of its flow-cell technology, but among them is energy density. A flow-cell of equivalent weight to a lithium-ion battery has five times greater performance.
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With a 120 kilowatt-hour flow-cell, Quant claims a range of 372 miles or more. That seems par for the course when compared to the EPA-rated 265 miles of an 85 kWh Tesla Model S, but one assumes the e-Sportlimousine is a great deal lighter thanks to those flow cells, which are presumably smaller than the Tesla’s batteries. Back in Geneva, the firm also suggested that its flow cells contain no "harmful substances"âin other words, the issue of the electric car battery’s origins is also side-stepped. Quant doesn’t just want to transform road-going vehicles thoughâit says the flow cell could have further application in domestic energy supplies, maritime, rail and aviation technology too.