Green Car Congress reported on an unoriginal concept vehicle with a very original twist. A car with a removable engine and transmission, allowing for conversion from EV to hybrid isn’t an original idea. But what is original is the Romanian team’s design application of that concept.
Called the “hyMod,” the vehicle has the capability to be either an EV or hybrid, depending on the configuration. The electric motor/generator up front drives the wheels. In the middle of the vehicle, underneath the floor, is a fixed battery pack. In the rear, the designers have left space for an interchangeable module containing either a gasoline engine, CVT transmission, and gas tank — capable of driving the front wheels — or a battery pack (with wheels) that allows for increased electric-powered driving range.
When installed into the vehicle with two chassis bars, some hooks, and lasers (we kid you not), the 82 horsepower gas engine module hooks up to a driveshaft running to the front drive unit, powering the front wheels on demand. The 82 horsepower from the gas engine added to the 68 horsepower motor/generator up front brings the net power output to 150 horses. The Romanian designers estimate the gas pack to achieve 39 MPG.
Alternately, should the 17 kWh battery pack be installed the EV drive range is increased to 112 miles per charge. No recharge time estimate has been given for the EV only module.
The hyMod has been estimated to cost $39,848 before taxes and the purchase of the modules. While the hyMod is rather clever, we doubt it will ever see the US roads in any meaningful way especially as established automakers have bigger, more efficient models.