Alternative to Li-ion batteries ready for series deployment?

March 02, 2016 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
With allegedly sensational driving range and performance, the Quantino and Quant FE electromobiles from startup company Nanoflowcell already made headlines. The company now showcases the vehicles in a near-series version at the Geneva Motor Show – but with a completely new business model.

With features like large driving range and short tank stops, Nanoflowcell attacks the existing electromobility paradigm at its weakest points: The company claims driving ranges of 1000 kilometres for vehicles equipped with its electrolyte-based liquid battery – twice as much as the currently most advanced battery-operated e-cars. And with a simple refill process at a kind of gas station that would not require significantly more time than filling the tank of a gasoline or diesel vehicle, the usability barrier of existing electromobility through lengthy charging stops would be cleared away. The company recently announced that its Quantino vehicle succeeded has been driven for 14 hours without a refill, and all of this under realistic driving conditions. But while Nanoflowcell hitherto aimed at series production of its cars, albeit in low quantities, the company now apparently has changed its strategy and is offering its energy storage technology to carmakers.


“Our goal is not manufacturing these vehicles in series production”, a spokesperson explained eeNews Europe. “They (the vehicles) are ready to enter production, but we intend to market the flow cell technology”, adding that the company has something like a franchise model in mind. “The system could be integrated in any electric car”, the spokesperson said. With its properties, the Nanoflowcell system would beat conventional lithium-ion batteries, the spokesperson claimed: “Since it is based on liquids, it can easily be customised to any type of vehicle, be it a city car or a large sedan,” he said. “We are the alternative to lithium-ion.”


Under technological aspects, the Nanoflowcell system however is somewhat mysterious. The company only discloses that the energy is stored in a non-toxic, incombustible and environmentally harmless liquid. The vehicles are equipped with two tanks – one for the unused liquid, the other one for the used liquid where it is pumped to after it has delivered its energy to the electric drive. In gas stations, the used