Flow cell powertrain stuns with extreme data
The nanoFlowcell engineers developed an all-new powertrain for the Quant F. Through a two-speed transmission, the 802 kW electric motor drives the vehicle to a top speed of more than 300 kpms (186 mph). "To reach maximum power, we were able to increase the battery voltage to 735 volts, up from 600 volts in the former model. For an electric car, this is a massive increase," said Nunzio La Vecchia, director of development at nanoFlowcell. La Veccia added that he regards increase of voltage and power not as a value in itself but with the goal to test the limits of this technology, to see what is feasible. "For future normal operation of the Quant F, the nominal battery voltage will rather be around 400 volts. This enables an efficient and economic driving style which translates into a higher driving range", he said.
The flow cell has been further developed and generates 50 amps of continuous current which is feed in the also new buffer system. The buffer, in turn, can deliver up to 2000 amps for short periods. "To our knowledge, nobody in the automotive world so far has brought a system to the streets with a maximum current of more than 2000 A", La Vecchia said.
Besides this stunning performance, the nanoFlowcell engineers also increased the driving range to more than 800 km (about 500 miles), up from 600 km for the model E. Which certainly is an achievement, given the fact that with its length of 5.25 metres, the Quant F is a full-fledged sedan, not a tiny sports roadster.
The F model also comes with larger tanks for the electrolyte – two tanks of 250 litres each for the positive and negative electrolyte and 25 % more overall volume than the E model. The company highlights the benefits associated with this technology: Since the energy is stored in a liquid, all cavities in the car body can be used as tanks whereas in a normal hydrogen fuel cell or a lithium ion battery this is not possible. The electrolyte is non-flammable and not toxic, La Vecchia emphasised.
Another innovation of the F model over its successor is the permanent all-wheel drive concept with four electric motors. To achieve high acceleration or at high speed, the vehicle switches automatically to a rear-axle drive; the front axle then is disengages and idles for better stability.
With the F model, which still is a prototype, the Liechtenstein-based carmaker is seeking homologation for series production. According to the company, the exterior is already to 100% compliant with the homologation requirements; the interior meets these requirements to 90%. Further development is required for the front display, the airbags and the crash tests. The latter will be performed in Germany and the US. "It makes me suffer to see that such a fine vehicle has to be crash tested", La Vecchia commented.