Hybrids & Electrics

New Car, New Tech: A Car That Runs On Salt Water

The Geneva Motor Show is a pretty big deal. Is it not uncommon to have major and minor manufacturers alike reveal things to the public at the show. Sometimes that means the introduction of a new design or new technology. The electric Nano Flow Cell Quant is an example of both.

The Quant made waves at its introduction at Geneva. That is because it was not only the introduction of a vehicle but also the introduction of a technology that blew many people’s minds. The technology is bi-ion fuel, meaning saltwater fuel for an electric car.

A white electric Quant sits at a car show
The electric Quant, by Nano Flow Cell | Nano Flow Cell

Wait. What? Saltwater fuel?

The Quant is an all-electric car. Where it differs from other electric cars is that it does not need to be plugged in to recharge. Instead, the tank is saltwater. Refilling the tanks can be done in five minutes.

The performance of the Quant

So, what kind of performance can be expected from a saltwater fueled, all-electric vehicle? The Quant has performance figures rivaling the best of the best in the electric car field and rivaling anything exotic-car based as well. Zero-to-sixty is timed at 2.4-seconds, while the top speed is right around 186 miles per hour.

A head-on view of a red electric Quant FE with its gull wing doors open
The electric Quant FE shows off its Gull Wing doors | Nano Flow Cell

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Advantages of saltwater fuel

According to Nano Flow Cell’s website,

Not different, better. Compared with conventional energy carriers like petrol, diesel, hydrogen, and lithium-ion batteries, bi-ION is not harmful to health or the environment and is neither flammable nor explosive. Moreover, bi-ION is sustainable and environmentally compatible to produce. “

Read on a little further on their website and you find,

Filling up as usual. Distributing and selling bi-ION does not call for the construction of a dedicated fuel station network. Existing fuel stations can also be used for bi-ION with just a few minor modifications to the pumps and nozzles. Thanks to its properties, the bi-ION electrolyte liquid is not subject to any hazmat obligations, unlike fossil fuels.”

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What the electric Quant is missing

This car seems to have a lot going for it, with one exception. The buy-in by the automotive industry has not been there. Let me explain. As mentioned earlier, this electric vehicle was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show. Not just any Geneva Motor Show, the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Yup, years ago.

So, what has happened to the company and the car since then? Well, the company, Nano Flow Cell, is still around. In fact, they have not given up on their direction to make bi-ion, saltwater, fueled cars. They actually have more than one model that they are currently developing. For example, The Quantino is currently undergoing road mileage testing, where they have documented 870 miles of range per tank full. There is also a Quant FE gullwing car.

A yellow electric Quantino moving down a city block
The electric Quantino undergoing road testing | Nano Flow Cell

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Under the radar

The concern is, Nano Flow Cell continues to be under the radar, but research and development are costly. The company needs to grab the attention of big-time manufacturers quickly, or they could risk running the company dry of funds. Or, the other side of the coin is, has big-time industry already looked at them and passed them by? Was there something about the technology that did not add up?

It is hard to tell. What is definite is that since the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, there have been few articles out there on the internet regarding Nano Flow Cell and the Quant. Yet, in 2015, there was another company that was relatively new, called Tesla, that has been all over the industry news. Tesla now has buy-in from the public and the industry. Nano Flow Cell, however, is relatively unknown, even with such great saltwater fuel technology. Something is not adding up. Nano Flow Cell, where are you?