We’ve heard about cars running on alternative fuels before. There was that trend of converting your car to run on vegetable oil. Solar cars have already beat land records. And Tesla has made electric go so mainstream it would cause a hipster to buy a Ford Pickup. But what about a salt water powered car?
Is that even possible? I mean, if you lived near the coast, you might even have unlimited fuel! But since we like to talk about awesome cars here, we’re going to tell you about a real, verifiable, salt water powered car. And you’ll be able to drive one like it in the near future!
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A Quant-um Anomaly
What would you say to a car that goes from zero to sixty in 2.6 seconds and tops out at 236 miles per hour? Well, it’s certainly not, let me see your battery. I’d probably say, let me ride you.
But what’s amazing is that there is a car out there that carries those specs and runs on saltwater. It really does sound like a Steampunk’s ultimate dream (hint, steam doesn’t really do what Steampunks wish it did). But it’s becoming a reality soon thanks to a little-known company called NanoFlowcell.
They showcased their new Quant F SportLimousine at the annual Geneva motor show in 2015 amid all the other fancy gas guzzler concepts and electric beauties on the floor. And it sure made a dazzling entrance at the show with its Tron meets Transformers concept look.
But what makes this different than either an electric car or a vegetable oil hack?
It’s the fact that this car never needs to be re-charged.
Yep, you heard me right. It’s an electric car that doesn’t need to be re-charged. Of course, with any liquid, it will dry up eventually, but it takes a quick top-up, and you’re good to go.
The Battery NASA Abandoned
Back in the 70’s during a looming oil crisis, NASA – among smaller startups – tried to find a solution to the combustible engine. They came up with a solution called the Redux-Flow Battery. But NASA couldn’t get the energy input to match or exceed the energy output.
It just wouldn’t work for actual propulsion. But a man by the name of Nunzio La Veccia believed he could make it work. And he took 16 years to prove it could.
What is the substance inside the battery? Simple saline. But the actual solution is unknown as Mr. Veccia won’t release the patents or talk about his “secret sauce.”
The concept itself is quite simple. You have a positive charged electrolytic and a negative charged electrolytic. They pass through a membrane, the charged electrons interact and create a charge.
This supposedly vaporizes the liquid with no emissions. This claim is as yet unverified.
The website claims some such about nano-technology, but they don’t exactly explain what this means. Nanotechnology is a broad application, so there is really no way to tell what the term indicates.
How Far Can I Drive This Salt Water Powered Car?
Let’s step back a moment and look at what current electric cars can do. The Telsa Model 3 can go 200 miles. That’s Tesla’s consumer model. Their Luxury Model S can supposedly go 400 miles if you stick to going 40 mph. Yawn.
The Chevy Bolt EV will take you 238 miles on a charge. But we’re looking at a very boring car indeed.
Now, what does NanoFlow claim the Quant can do? 370 miles on a charge. A whopping 370 miles. That’s almost as far as the Model S. Now, how accurate this is, we can’t attest. Nobody has been able to actually test this vehicle so far. Everything is shrouded in the mystery of the patent pending issue.
But, recently the Quant was given approval to drive on European roads. So, hopefully, all of this information will be verifiable soon.
Is There Any Competition For The Salt Water Powered Car?
Outside of your typical electric and hybrid cars available today, the answer is no.
GE seemed to be working on some sort of flow battery back in 2013, but they’ve since gone silent on the issue. Most likely, they ran into the same problems as NASA. Which leads me to believe that what NanoFlow is presenting might need more testing to prove it’s not a myth.
What Will It Cost?
The new Tesla Model 3 will only set you back about $35,000 this year. Again, you can only go 200 miles on a charge that takes a few hours to complete.
A new Chevy Volt will run you around $36,000-40,000 depending on your need for luxury.
But the enigmatic salt water powered car might set you back considerably more. How much more, might you ask? More than I could afford, even if I made payments.
How does the sound of $1.7 million dollars sound to you? You could probably buy a glass house for that amount of money.
Now, this is according to estimates, as no actual price has been released. But, looking at the newest concept chassis, you can tell the thing is going to be built for luxury and speed.
But, sadly, Veccia’s design will probably never actually make it to your driveway. He claims his company is solely a tech company, not a carmaker.
You’ll likely find his engine in a Tesla in the coming years than actually in a Veccia original.
Can I Drive One?
No, but Ollie Kew from TopGear got to drive one, and he seemed impressed enough. Although this beast weighs in at 1.42 metric tons, it drives “remarkably agile.” He even got to have the owner in the passenger seat while he put it through the works.
Apparently, this prototype has the engine behind the front seat for ease of access, but the promise is that it will be placed where all engines like to ride. Under the hood.
Conclusion: It’s All Up In The Air
Unfortunately, like when we first heard about driverless cars, this technology is probably years away from actually finding its way under your hood.
But, if it does become mainstream, you’ll hear it first from us.
And if you’ve heard anything new about the salt water powered car, drop us a line in the comments below. And, as always, drive awesome.