Hollywood needs to make a movie about this story, because it’s that good. And we mean good. It’s so fantastic it makes other similar stories pale in comparison. At its heart it’s the story of a man and his vision, the vision to create a personality so large, and so incredibly impressive it will take our collective breath away. The movie would star Leo DeCaprio as Nunzio La Vecchia, entrepreneur, inventor, philanthropist, with a glorious gleaming supercar prototype as his faithful and ever obedient sidekick.
We’re not going to go into any kind of fine grained detail here about the the journey that leads us to the current iteration of this man’s dream, the Quant E-Sportlimousine. Let’s just say the project, the car and the man appear to have enjoyed an illustrious and exciting career together. The story probably starts here:
1. Swedish Solar Car Runs on Fool’s Gold. This 2009 Wired story introduces us to the Quant brand name, a 300 mile range and a recharge time of 20 minutes. The article also introduces us for the first time to the initials NLV, in this case as part of a company called NLV Solar [link leads to a New Zealand blog page now].
As you’ll notice the car, at this point built under the auspices of Koenigsegg auto makers in Sweden, bears a striking similarity to the later Quant E-Sportlimousine. Questions are already being asked.
2. Fast forward to 2013, and we’ll stumble across a Swiss news report which, although short on details, seems to indicate that a 47 year old man and a ‘letter box‘ company called NLV has been ordered by a local court to pay back 44 million francs to a wealthy Zurich woman. The photo features a shot of the delicious looking Quant at the Geneva Motor Show in 2010.
3. Which brings us bang up to date with this September 2014 report of the launch of the Quant E-Sportlimousine, the ‘first electric car powered by salt water‘. Now built by the German company Quant, it runs on a ‘flow-cell’ power system called nanoFLOWCELL, which apparently has a 5 times greater energy density than previous flow cell technologies. Mr Nunzio La Vecchia now features as the chief technology officer of the new company, which has just gained official permission to be tested on roads in Germany and Europe, and is actively working with Bosch to perfect the technology.
4. The Daily Mail laps it up. The car’s top speed is 217 mph, it uses a saltwater flow cell system to power four electric motors and the twin 200 litre water tanks provide a range of 373 miles from the four seater, £1 million + vehicle. Just to put the superlatives into perspective, those twin tanks hold 88 gallons in total, which means you’re effectively getting just over 4 mpg from your fuel, which is interesting. And it seems reasonable since you’re carrying around 396 kg of fuel alone, let alone the weight of the car, passengers and luggage.
Now we’re not going to suggest anything about a technology which is so new (even though it is apparently based on flow technology which NASA researched and abandoned back in the 1970s), but it’s likely several decades away from commercial exploitation, especially since there is absolutely no infrastructure in place for refuelling en route. In the meantime, we’d like to present the many wonderful aspects of Mr Nunzio La Vecchia, both at work and in his leisure time.
We need that movie!