As nanoFlowcell AG looks to begin small series production of its radical Quant F, it has announced plans for a new “QUANT City” development center to take its fuel cell ambitions far beyond.
Unlike hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and others, nanoFlowcell’s technology uses a salt-water-based fuel cell system it says is environmentally friendly.
While the company has also shown a more-affordable variant, the QUANT F is presented as an all-wheel-drive no-compromises beast with 0-62 mph time claimed faster than a Tesla P90D at 2.8 seconds (Tesla does 0-60 in the same). Its two speed transmission also lets it run up to 186 mph – its predecessor claimed 217 mph – and easily extendable range is estimated at 500 miles.
But potential for this water-based fuel cell tech, says the company, goes far beyond million-dollar supercars, and its new 6.1-acre facility is to begin construction early 2016 in Tenero in the Swiss canton of Ticino.
Assuming plans go forth, nanoFlowcell AG will relocate its existing “nanoFlowcell DigiLab” from Zürich to this new campus it is calling a “city.”
There the company aims to benefit the automotive sector as well as develop energy systems for buildings, shipping, aerospace, rail traffic, and more.
The deal is subject to finalization of an acquisition contract but penciled-in for completion as soon as 2018. The startup says it will create 150-200 new jobs in the effort to further the novel energy source.
The video below highlights the QUANT E, upon which the QUANT F has been evolved.
It’s advanced science, but in simplest terms, a form of saltwater is used in a “flow cell” that has been also called a “battery.” The flow cell that provides the power for electric motors uses an ionic liquid that is saline and aqueous.
“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,” said Chief Technical Officer Nunzio La Vecchia.
The company will work with virtual reality and nano technology to create its solutions it believes have huge upside potential.
As a centre for the further development of flow cell technology, nanoFlowcell AG in QUANT City will in future also be responsible for scientific tasks. In addition to fundamental research, the research and teaching around flow cells will also be a fixed part of QUANT City through collaborations with universities, institutes and other scientific establishments. To this end, the “QUANT Academy” will be founded, which will combine all areas of research and development within the nanoFlowcell AG company group. Scientific work such as degree dissertations and doctoral theses on flow cell technology and also on ionic fluids as energy sources of the future can and will in future be carried out at QUANT City within the QUANT Academy. To this end, nanoResearch SA will offer not just the premises but also the technical and scientific requirements. Prospective scientists, engineers and doctoral candidates will thus be given the opportunity to learn from and carry out research with leading figures from the fields of research and teaching as well as gaining practical experience in industry.
As for the automotive side, the company says a modular design of its Quant F will be produced at the new plant when it is green-lighted.
The company is now working toward approval with authorities. The QUANT F’s predecessor, the QUANT E, was approved already by TÜV in Germany for individual use in Germany and Europe.
“As soon as the requirements are met for series production, the new QUANT will go into small series production in QUANT City,” says the company.
There finished components including chassis, axle systems, on-board systems and “engine” and gear components will be delivered pre-manufactured and will undergo final assembly.
“We have opted for small series production in Tenero so that we can also proceed effectively alongside it with the further development of the nanoFlowcell in the automotive field,” said Nunzio La Vecchia. “This type of production can only be of benefit to the environment.”
More info can be seen at the company’s website.