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Germany startup to begin prod'n of electric sports cars

12 Dec 2014  | Christoph Hammerschmidt

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Germany-based nanoFlowcell AG, a startup car manufacturer, has announced its plan to produce its own electric sports sedan. At next year's Geneva Motor show, the company will present another version of its car besides the Quant E model.

With the purpose of transferring its prototype vehicle into series production, nanoFlowcell has launched a fully-owned subsidiary named nanoProduction GmbH, based in Waldshut (Germany). This company will be responsible for all manufacturing aspects of the vehicles. The first task for the subsidiary is taking all necessary legal measures to enable nanoFlowcell to produce street vehicles in series. In addition, nanoProduction will oversee all negotiations with suppliers and development partners for the entire group and implement all formal and operative measures towards a homologation of the vehicles.

A company spokesperson said that selecting a location in Germany for the launch of nanoProduction does not mean a preliminary decision to manufacture the vehicles in that country. He pointed out that at the present point in time, all options as to the manufacturing model are open. "It is possible to license our technology to an established carmaker, a new market player, or to run it on our own," the spokesperson stated.

By March 2015, when the Geneva Motor show will open its gate, some 90 per cent of the homologation will be settled, the spokesperson said. Yet to be done are the crash tests, certainly not a trivial issue, given the innovative nature of the nanoFlowcell vehicle with liquid electrolytes as energy storage. Nevertheless, the company intends to showcase its model Quant F, the successor to its Quant E prototype. The F model will be similar to the current version, but with additional features, the spokesperson said. The company plans to exhibit three Quant F's although all three will still be prototypes.

What makes the nanoFlowcell vehicles peculiar is their innovative energy storage concept. The electric vehicles are driven by a hybrid of conventional battery and fuel cell. In contrast to battery electric vehicles as the world knows them, the Quant E's batteries are not recharged on some kind of electric charging station. Instead, the liquid electrolyte within the car's two tanks is exchanged against a fresh electrolyte. Despite the relatively large volume of the tanks (2 x 200L), this can be achieved much faster than charging a battery. So far however, the exact composition of the liquid electrolyte is the secret of nanoFlowcell. All information the company provides is that it deals with "ionised nano particles."

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