A new concept car, the SCI hyMod modular car, has been designed and proposed for development by a Romanian team of researchers and auto experts: Dan Scarlat (automotive journalist), Marian Cilibeanu (designer) and Cristian Ionescu (engineer).
The hyMod is an exclusively battery-electric car for short distance travel that makes use an interchangable hybrid engibe for longer distance travel. The all-electric and the hybrid engines would be interchangeable with the assistance of a special change center (“hyMod STATION”).
“A synchronous permanent magnet electric 42 kW motor with 200 N·m torque drives the front wheels of the vehicle. In the middle section, beneath the floor, is mounted a 5 kWh battery pack which can be used in both electric and hybrid modes. The rear features a modular structure designed to enable the transformation; the drive shafts and the intermittent mechanical couplings which are used in conventional engine mode are mounted in the area of the rear axle.”
Built to accomodate two different modules; one that makes use of batteries, called “battery-pack,” and another one that includes an engine and transmission, called “engine-pack.” The two modules are fitted to the car by the use of two different ‘bars’ that use special supports mounted on the chassis. And to make it more stable, there are two hooks actuated by the extracting device restricting longitudal movement.
“The extractor device at the hyMod stations handles is endowed with sensors and the module has laser emitters. In that way, the alignment of the extraction bars with the corresponding supports on the module is made automatically, the device being capable to move in sides and up/down.”
Green Car Congress continues:
“A critical element is the coupling of the mechanical transmission of the engine-pack—especially because the whole engine-transmission pack is fastened to the module frame by means of elastic bumpers. To make possible the coupling of the transmission, booth semi couplings (from the module and from the car) are fixed rigid to the module frame and respective to the car chassis.
“This implies the usage of four planetary drive shafts, two between the differential and the intermittent couplings and two from intermittent coupling to the wheels. Because of the fact that engine and transmission movements on the elastic buffers are small, the planetary drive shafts between the differential and intermittent couplings can be short.”
The “battery-pack” engine option uses a 17 kWh pack, making a range of around 140 km (87 miles); but this is supplemented by the 5 kWh battery that’s in the car, bringing the total range to around 180 km (112 miles).
The “engine-pack” uses a combustion engine, producing 82 hp, and is connected to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The hybrid system’s full output (front motor and rear engine) is 150 hp. Fuel consumption averages less than 6 l/100 km (39 mpg US) and the range is over 600 km (373 miles).
“The engine module also contains all the other related components, including the fuel tank, the cooling system and the radiator, except the battery, whose function is taken by the car’s battery.”
The SCI hy:Mod design team is estimating that the base price of the vehicle without modules (and without tax) would be around €25,500 (US$32,848).
Source and Images: Green Car Congress