It’s got a motor at each wheel, gullwing doors, makes a Fisker look like an AMC Pacer, and can go from stationary to 60 MPH as fast as a GT-R. It’s powered by something similar to a fuel cellthat uses salt water as an electrolyte. And now it’s legal to drive on European roads.
The car is the QUANT e-Sportlimousine. We covered it way back when it was still a Koenigsegg-branded project, but there seems to have been a lot of development in the intervening years, and a prototype is now being tested for eventual production.
The Quant is, essentially, a very high-spec electric car. It’s using a motor per wheel to give it AWD with torque vectoring, and each of those motors makes 227 HP, giving a theoretical total of 908 HP. The Quant’s electronics don’t want you dead that easily, so the system caps the operating power at a very healthy 644 HP.
The peak torque numbers are allowed to remain absolutely bonkers, at 2138 lb-ft PER WHEEL. Which means 8,552 lb-ft total. Just what you need to reverse the rotation of the earth so you can go back in time like Superman did in that movie. Because that’s how time works.
These numbers are impressive, but the part of this car that could actually prove genuinely important is the use of what’s called a flow battery. Flow batteries, specifically the redox-type, were patented by NASA in 1976.
More specifically, the Quant uses a nano-network flow battery, which is why the company is called nanoFLOWCELL.
This type of flow battery uses a
… lithium-sulfur chemistry arranged in a network of nanoparticles. The network eliminates the requirement that charge moves in and out of particles that are in direct contact with a conducting plate. Instead, the nanoparticle network allows electricity to flow throughout the liquid. This allows more energy to be extracted.
The energy density of the battery is enough that the Quant is claimed to have a range of 200-300 miles or so. And, perhaps even better than range, unlike traditional chemical batteries, to recharge the battery, you only need to replenish the electrolyte, which, in this case, is just salt water. The size of the electrolyte tanks affects the overall range, and refilling them should be a quick and easy process akin to fueling up a conventional gasoline car.
The electricity from the flow battery is then stored in a pair of huge capacitors, which the electric motors then draw from to turn all that electricity into speed.
To some degree, it all sounds too good to be true, especially if you watched that video up there and believed that the car is capable of of transforming into a large flock of birds at will. Still, the science it’s based on is solid and understood, and other types of flow batteries have been used before, though usually in stationary contexts.
The design of the e-Sport Limousine is quite striking, with gulling doors, flowing lines, and maybe one of the nicest grille designs I’ve seen in quite a while. The four-seat interior is equally strong, with so much flowing wood it looks like a giant frozen spill of hot coco with partially-melted marshmallow streaks. 6
Now the company has an actual registration plate from the German TÜV Süd in Munich, which means they can start testing on public roads in Europe. There’s a video of the actual, physical car here
… and what it shows certainly smacks of a lot of show-car hyperbole and overdone design, hopefully the technology underpinning it all will prove to be viable.
Also, check out the hair on that guy in the car. Wow. That guy is Nunzio La Veccia, the CTO of the company, and possibly the CTO with the most cringe-inducing and embarrassing YouTube videos of anyone in motoring. In a very soft-focus, lingering close-ups sort of way.
Oh boy. These sorts of cars and companies never quite seem to manage to actually make it to production — but Tesla has sort of changed that story, so maybe we’ll see some interesting things here, too.
After reading your comments, re-reading their materials, and thinking, I feel like this deserves a deeper look than this article gives. You’re right that claims like these demand real scrutiny. I’ll start working on a more in-depth evaluation of their tech and claims as soon as I can find the proper experts to help me evaluate. Thanks to all for reminding me to stay on my toes.