Last year, nano_Flowcell showed the Quant E, a genuinely striking-looking gullwinged supercar that they claimed had a 300 mile range and made over 900HP. This year, they're back at Geneva showing the Quant F, which they say will have a 500 mile range and make over 1000 HP. Sadly, there's still no good proof any of it really works.
They're also showing the smaller and equally great-looking Quantino, a low-voltage (48V) version of their flowcell-powered drivetrain that makes about 136 HP and has a range of over 600 miles. It all sounds amazing, especially when they describe how instead of time-consuming recharging, you'd just pump in new electrolyte like you would pump gas. And it all uses a safe, clean ionic liquid:
As an alternative drive system, the nanoFlowcell® is operated with an ionic liquid. "Instead of using hydrogen and oxygen as in a conventional fuel cell, we work with two ionic fluids - one with a positive charge and one with a negative charge," explains Nunzio La Vecchia. With a total tank capacity of 500 litres, comprising two times 250 litres in two tanks accommodated separately in the QUANT's substructure, in the space of only nine months we have achieved an increase in range of over 30 percent in comparison to the QUANT E from 2014. "We are only in the initial phase of our development work. The fact that we store the energy for our drive in a fluid provides us with enormous advantages over systems employed to date in the field of electric mobility. We can use all the cavities in the vehicle to transport the ionic liquid. As the liquid is neither flammable nor toxic, we believe we are absolutely on the right track with this medium," Nunzio La Vecchia adds.
They do seem to have backed off a bit on calling their "ionic fluids" 'seawater' like they were so hot on last year, as you can see in this video:
Sure, it sounds amazing, but stupid reality isn't playing ball. Last year, we had our captive physicist do an evaluation of their technology, and the result is that there's really just no independent proof that any of these claims are real.
Here's what our physicist, Dr. Stephen Granande, had to say:
Even without that information, I'm extremely skeptical that the e-Sportlimousine is what it's supposed to be. Not because it runs on sea water — it doesn't, and nanoFLOWCELL hasn't claimed that it does. They've only talked about "metallic salts in an aqueous solution", not table salt dissolved in water. I'm skeptical because of how much better they claim their flow batteries are than the current state of the art. Their press release says that their flow battery has five times the energy density of even Tesla's Lithium-ion batteries. That's an extraordinary claim, and those batteries would revolutionize the portable battery industry. But there's been no proof.
Worse, five years ago the QUANT was "going to be powered by a breakthrough in solar cell technology" and a "Flow Accumulator Energy Storage". An independent test of their solar tech indicated that that technology didn't live up to their claims (as you can read, assuming you read German). Now the QUANT depends on a breakthrough in flow cell technology, one that leading flow battery researchers can't even match. The CTO, Nunzio La Vecchia is a self-described "physicist and autodidact" who is also a musician, pilot, and racing driver. He's one medical degree away from being Buckaroo Bonzai. I'd love for his amazing battery to be real, but past experience tells me that it probably isn't.
So, yeah. The Quant F and the Quantino sure are amazing looking, and to hear them talk about the technology is absolutely exciting. Plus, they have those cool flowing-light turn indicators (watch the video). And now they're even pushing their flow-battery technology as an energy source beyond just cars. But I urge everyone to read the full article and remember that until these results can be duplicated by qualified people who do not work for nano_Flowcell, this is all unicorn semen and pixie dust.
Maybe they are on to something here. I'd love to think they were, and they sure can design some cars. But until they do some real tests and provide some actual proof of their claims, who the hell knows?