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“A vision becomes reality.” With these words, Nunzio La Vecchia presented the new QUANT e-Sportlimousine during the press day of the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The world premiere of the first automobile with a nanoFLOWCELL® powertrain aroused great international media interest. This highly anticipated, revolutionary powertrain technology and energy-storage system can give new impetus to the field of electric mobility.
“The QUANT e-Sportlimousine is a research vehicle for road testing innovative energy storage systems, focusing especially on development and improvements in flow cell battery technology,” according to Nunzio La Vecchia, Technical Director of nanoFLOWCELL AG.
“The QUANT e-Sportlimousine is neither a show car, nor a concept car. It is the first automobile to be fitted with the nanoFLOWCELL® that is also designed from the ground up to meet all homologation requirements,” La Vecchia explains the direction of the intensive research and development work undertaken to produce the first prototype during the last few years.
Flow cells combine aspects of electrochemical accumulator cells with those of fuel cells. Liquid electrolytes are kept in two tanks and circulated through the cell. At the heart of the system, a membrane separates the two electrolytic solutions, but allows electrical charge to pass through and thereby produce power for the drive train.
“The advantages of the nanoFLOWCELL® lie in its high charge density, high performance density, and its light weight compared to conventional energy storage systems. Furthermore, it contains no harmful substances, no moving parts, and it is very efficient,” explains Nunzio La Vecchia.
The nanoFLOWCELL® was conceived and is under active development at the nanoFLOWCELL DigiLab simulation lab at nanoFLOWCELL AG in Zurich, Switzerland. The results are very promising: At a nominal voltage of 600 V and 50 A nominal current the system is achieving an impressive continuous output of 30 kW. The nanoFLOWCELL® has a 5-times greater performance-by-weight than current lithium-ion technologies that power most of today’s electrical vehicles, meaning its driving range is 5-times greater than a conventional unit of the same weight.
Elegant, sporty and with an extraordinary design that underscores the special character of this car as the platform for a revolutionary new powertrain technology – this is the QUANT e-Sportlimousine in its world premiere at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. With its length of more than 5.25 metres and a width of more than 2.2 metres and a height of 1.35 metres, the QUANT e-Sportlimousine makes a bold statement in terms of its dimensions and proportions.
“It was important to us that our four-seater QUANT e-Sportlimousine would be a very sporty car despite its size and unusual dimensions,” Nunzio La Vecchia is thrilled by the very positive public reactions at the car’s premiere in Geneva. Two unusually long gull-wing doors, large 1.7 metre wide side windows, extremely curved front and rear windscreen, no b-pillar, 22 inch tyres, and a short front bonnet are all part of the impressive optics of the new QUANT e-Sportlimousine.
The interior stands out with some unusual highlights: The two rows of seats, one behind the other in jet-cockpit style, accentuate the carbon fibre monocoque construction. The prototype presented in Geneva also won a lot of fans for its paint colour, “chrystal lake blue” developed exclusively for this vehicle, which reflects the character of the powertrain. The blue represents water; copper highlights, the flowing of electricity.
Another distinctive feature of the new QUANT e-Sportlimousine are its wooden operating controls. The new sensorFLOW® technology provides a visual highlight never seen before in automobile control elements. At first glance, you only seen the natural, smooth ash wood surfaces. Once the QUANT e-Sportlimousine is activated, the control elements become visible through the natural wood. “The wood surfaces are so thin that a light touch of the finger on the sensorFLOW® icons triggers the appropriate action,” enthuses development lead Nunzio La Vecchia, “This innovation allows us use a sustainable material like wood to give you a direct connection to the digital control systems.”
The interior also features modern display technology more than 1.25 metres wide and 16 centimetres tall, the front display gives this car that widescreen cinema feeling. The QUANT e-Sportlimousine’s complete infotainment system is implemented in an Android-based system. The new QUANTmobile App allows the driver to access the QUANT e-Sportlimousine’s climate and infotainment controls from outside the vehicle. Driving statistics and navigation functions are also accessible from a smartphone.