Hybrid or electric? Green car idea proposes a little of both
What if you could have a vehicle costing around $33,000 that was a bit both in a modular sort of way? Well, that's the concept idea behind SCI hyMod, which was cooked up by a Romanian team from varying backgrounds.
The SCI hyMod idea proposes, according to Green Optimistic, the idea of a "cartridge system" that would allow you to swap between a more hybrid flavor or an electric offering. The designers believe this kind of hybrid vehicle concept could, in "a clean daily operation," serve as an electric car, while for what's deemed "interurban travels" where greater range and flexibility are required, it could be transformed into a traditional hybrid like a Toyota Prius.
The trick to the swapping of these two green car technologies is that you wouldn't be doing it yourself, but rather taking the vehicle to a "a special transforming center" called a hyMod Station. It would be at this station, presumably somewhere near where you live, that the modules would be easily swapped out. Making use of these modules, according to the designers, implies paying a monthly rental fee that doesn't change or perhaps leasing them. There'd also likely be an extra fee or installing/replacing the modules as needed.
Specifications of the electric module would allow the vehicle to have decent acceleration in urban traffic, with top speed being set at 80 MPH or so. The vehicle would already be equipped with a synchronous permanent magnet electric motor located at the front of it that provides a power of 42 kW. When working with the electric module and its associated batteries, one could expect to be able to drive around 85 miles or so, though this could be extended slightly if energy from a supplemental battery that's permanently installed in the car like the electric motor is kicked in as well.
Should the hybrid module be needed, one is looking at slipping into the vehicle a combustion engine which produces 82 HP and is connected to a continuously variation gear box (CVT). The designers note combined maximum power with the electric motor would be 150 HP, allow for getting up to 60 MPH in under 10 seconds and hitting a top speed of 105 MPH. Range would be around 370 miles or so.
The hyMod, capable of accommodating up to six passengers, or five plus associated luggage, would have what's described as a "fresh, young, avant-garde" look to it to try and escape the ugly factor some green vehicles have suffered from over the years.