A Romanian design team, made up of automotive journalist Dan Scarlat, designer Marian Cilibeanu, and engineer Cristian Ionescu, has come together to design a unique hybrid vehicle, the SCI hyMod. The hyMod is basically an electric vehicle, equipped with a 5 kWh battery pack in the floor of the car, and a 42 kW motor on the front axle. Where it gets interesting and unique is in the rear of the vehicle.
The modular design of the SCI hyMod is essentially a cartridge system, which means you can install either one of two “packs,” depending on your driving needs. The packs are installed on rails attached to the vehicle frame, to keep them secure while driving, while making it easy to swap them out. The “battery pack” is a 17 kWh rechargeable battery. The “engine pack” includes the fuel tank, 82 hp internal-combustion engine, and a CVT which couples to the rear wheels.
For short-range driving, the 17 kWh “battery pack” can be installed for a total of 22 kWh, with a maximum range about 100 miles. The for long-range driving, a hyMod Station automatically disconnects and removes the battery pack using robotic sensors and actuators, and then installs the engine pack, reconnecting it to the vehicle.
When combined with the 5 kWh battery-pack in the floor and the 42 kW electric motor on the front axle, the SCI hyMod works just like current hybrid electric vehicles. Equipped as a hybrid, the system has a total output of 150 hp, and is has an estimated fuel efficiency of 39 mpg. On a full tank of gas, the range is about 375 miles.
The SCI hyMod team estimates that the vehicle will cost, without packs, about $33,000, and depending on your need, either pack used interchangeably for a monthly fee. The hyMod stations would be available in major cities and used for a small fee when swapping packs.