Electric cars have been big news in the media for a while now. Partly that's a simple knock-on effect of global warming being such a hot topic (pun unintended) and partly it's because companies like Tesla are making such a big push to try and make electric cars or 'EVs' the next big thing.
They're succeeding to a point, but EVs still only account for 1% of automobiles sold in the US. Perhaps it's time we looked at some alternatives?
Well, recent news suggests that there may well be more options for solving our car-related energy problems as a car that runs entirely on saltwater has been approved for EU roads.
While the car is undoubtedly one of the most important inventions ever, it is also not flawless and there are a number of issues surrounding the use of gasoline which impacts on global warming and which is a finite source that's sure to run out soon.
So alternatives are good news. One alternative of course is the electric car, which as mentioned is rather big news at the moment. Another, is liquid hydrogen when combined with oxygen is actually able to drive an electric motor and the only waste product is water. Hydrogen also just so happens to be the most abundant substance in the universe. So there's no risk of running out. The problem is, that hydrogen has to be stored at high pressures which is somewhat dangerous.
Is Saltwater the Answer?
A German company called 'nanoFLOWCELL' (don't you just love quirky uses of capitals…) and has just unveiled there 'QUANT e-Sportlimousine' at the Geneva motor show. The aim of this car is to be the first saltwater-powered production car in the world.
The car uses two tanks of liquid that use metallic salts with opposite charges, these get pumped through a membrane and by recombining them, electricity is generated. nanoFLOWCELL say that a single top up will give you about 300 miles which is very comparable to a 'regular' car. That said, the tank is about three times the size of a large SUV, so filling up will take a little bit of time.
That said though, filling up is still not going to take anywhere near as long as recharging an electric car and obviously it will cost much less than other fuel.
The Car Itself
What's really surprising about the QUANT e-Sportlimousine though, is that it actually looks really good. Often when these new-fangled eco-cars are revealed they look like ugly kids' toys (that's kids toys that are ugly…). And also it performs well too. The QUANT e-Spotlimousine has a top speed of 217mph and can go from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds. That's… actually really good.
And what's also surprising is that this actually looks like it's going to be available sometime in the not-too-distant future. It's been approved for testing on European roads, which means it's obviously deemed safe and car-like enough… so yeah, that all sounds like good news. It actually sounds like a car that could please both the green eco-crowd and the regular gear heads who still want cars that can really perform. And seeing as it has none of the big drawbacks of an electric car, it's hard to see any real fault with it. Of course it won't give you the satisfying growl of a petrol engine… but in the grand scheme of things does that really matter?
So what do you think? Do you think this will ever come to fruition? And if so… would you get one? And what will come of Tesla? Only time will tell…