Is this the Tesla killer?

February 17, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Only a week after the introduction of its second-generation electric sports sedan Quant F, e-car design company nanoFlowCell has announced another development to be shown at the Geneva Motor Salon next month. This time however, it is a small roadster with low-voltage drive. In contrast to the Quant F, the Quantino runs on just 48 Volts but nevertheless boasts quite a sporty performance.

The electric energy is stored in the same flow battery and buffer system as in the Quant F, the Quantino's bigger brother. The powertrain however is different - the Quantino is equipped with four electric motors of 25 kW each. Thus it achieves about 136 horsepowers which give it a top speed of some 200 kmph (about 125 mph). The best is its driving range of more than 1000 km which is even more than a comparably powered gasoline vehicle would be able to offer.

"The Quantino will be an electric vehicle that everybody can afford", comments nanoFlowcell Nunzio La Vecchia, nanoFlowcell's Chief Technology Officer. While the roadster will see the Geneva Motor Show as a concept car, it will become reality already this year, La Vecchia promised. "The Quantino will be ready to drive in 2015. And we are seeking road approval very fast," he said.

Four seats, four-wheel drive, less than four metres long. The Quantino has a driving range of 1000 kilometres, nanoFlowcell promises.

Hitherto low voltage drives typically were a feature of vehicles with very low power of less than 5 kW. Examples are golf carts, electric scooters or four-wheel low-speed city vehicles with up to 20 kW. One of the reasons is that to achieve high power at low voltage, very thick cables are required, which made them expensive and heavy. An additional drawback were relatively high ohmic losses in the cabling system. La Vecchia claims that the flow cell technology represents a solution to these issues, because there are also advantages of low-voltage drives over the high-voltage systems deployed in today's electric vehicles. For example, the effort to implement a protection against accidental contact or electric arcs, is much lower. The ECE-R 100 standard does not require any additional protective measures. This facilitates significantly the homologation process. "Functional safety is much easier to implement", La Vecchia said.

The flow cell technology, developed by Liechtenstein-based