The way to sell a fresh new technology to a cynical market is to make it cool. And you can’t really deny that the nanoFlowcell QUANTiNO is anything less than De Niro-cool, looking like a cross between a Vauxhall Adam and a Nike iD custom sneaker, with a cartoonish smidge of LaFerrari thrown in for good measure. It’s alluringly bizarre.
But it’s the tech that really draws you in. Flow cell technology theoretically allows a 600+ mile range on a single fill, utilising four electric motors (one in each wheel) and a pair of fuel tanks filled with electrolytic fluids – one positively charged, the other negatively. A membrane splits the flow cell, with positive charge flowing one way and negative the other, the resultant ion exchange being where the power comes from. All very nerdy, but it basically amounts to this: the electrolytic fluid is a non-flammable, non-toxic, low-pressure, zero-emission fuel that’s relatively cheap.
The QUANTiNO also serves up a 0-62mph time comfortably under five seconds, which makes for a pretty strong ‘Why not?’ argument: it’s cool, it’s quick, it’s built for fun, it’s super-frugal, and it doesn’t rely on a complex charging infrastructure. It’s very quiet, it doesn’t get hot… are there no downsides to this car? Well, let’s just wait and see how much it costs when it makes production – which, incidentally, is mooted for this year. The future, it seems, has arrived.