R&D centre investigates flow cell applications

October 12, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Nanoflowcell AG, developer of an electric vehicle with 'liquid' batteries, plans to build an R&D centre for its flow cell technology. Construction works will start early in 2016, completion of the “Quant City” is scheduled for 2016. While the focus of the activities will be on further developing the technology and identify new application fields the company also plans to build its Quant E sports vehicle in small series at the Quant City campus.

Quant City will represent an investment of 150 million Swiss Francs (136.5 million euros or 156 million $). The facility will be based in Tenero, in the Swiss canton of Ticino and create between 150 and 200 jobs for engineers as well as legal experts. It is expected that the R&D centre will initiate the creation of additional 2500 jobs at suppliers and service providers in the Ticino area.

Nanoflowcell made headlines when it showcased two electric vehicle prototypes, the Quant E and Quant F with its proprietary flow cell energy storage technology. This technology has similarities with hydrogen fuel cell but it works with a patented electrolyte instead of hydrogen to generate electricity. The company claimed that the vehicles reach a range of 600 respectively 800 km (373 resp, 497 miles) with one fill of the electrolyte tank and that a tank stop won’t last more than with a conventional gasoline or diesel car since the used electrolyte liquid is drained and the tanks then are refilled with the same amount of fresh liquid.

The new R&D centre will investigate how the flow cell technology could be used in industrial and consumer applications as well as in shipping, aerospace and rail traffic. In addition, the company will market licenses and IP for the technology. The production of the Quant F sports sedan will also take place at Quant City. The company however expects only small quantities. The predecessor Quant E model will be phased out after it has been built in very low quantities. Currently the Quant F is in the process of street approval, but the start of production will only be determined by the finalisation of the Quant City campus, a company spokeswoman said. Also the compact car Quantino will be assembled in the Quant City.

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