NanoFlowcell, a Swiss flow cell battery research company founded by Nunzio La Vecchia, promises 2 000 km of all-electric range for passenger vehicles thanks to flow batteries with an exceptionally high energy density. But a finished product still hasn’t come out, even after nearly ten years…
NanoFlowcell was founded in 1996 and claims to have developed the first flow battery small enough for electric vehicle use. A flow battery uses two tanks of liquid electrolytes with positive and negative charges, which move through a membrane, creating an energy current. Flow batteries are usually used for large static applications such as buffer batteries for wind farms, but NanoFlowcell claims to have perfected the technology for EV use.
‘Over 2 000 km of range’
Moreover, NanoFlowcell claims to have developed an electrolyte with an energy density of 600 Wh per liter. The company has presented two prototypes thus far: the Quant, first shown in 2016 with a claimed range of over 1 000 km, and the more recent and compact Quantino 25, with over 2 000 km of all-electric range.
Now, two more prototypes are coming. Dutch publication AutoWeek has acquired patent images of an updated version of the Quant and, more recently, a completely new prototype in the shape of a pickup truck, which looks like an attempt to entice American customers. NanoFlowcell established a US subsidiary in 2022, so an American-centric product makes sense.
Will production ever come?
However, a lot of question marks remain. NanoFlowcell still hasn’t made progress with a production model. At the same time, several R&D institutes and industry experts question the promised energy density from their flow batteries and the 48 V drivetrain architecture, which would develop large amounts of heat due to the amperage required to create enough power.
Founder Nunzio La Vecchia also doesn’t have a flawless business reputation, with a previous solar car venture, the NLV Quant, which proved optimistic at best.