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Published on October 4th, 2012 | by James Ayre


New Modular EV-Hybrid Features Battery And Engine Swapping

October 4th, 2012 by  

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

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Bob_Wallace

    I suspect higher capacity batteries will make this moot, but…

    Four door pickups have become quite popular. What if these were built as small pickups? The bed could be used to place the ICE for long trips and the bed would be available at other times for all those truck things….

  • SirSparks

    Definitely over-complicated! Why not just use a drop in gas generator when extended range is needed?Should be able to get a purpose built 10Kw unit which is quite and quick connect for a few thousand. Light and with only 4 connections easy enough for 2 people to remove/install in 10 minutes.

    If 17Kwh gets the car 87 miles as stated then a 10Kw unit should be able to work like this;
    17Kwh will drive car at 43.5 mph for 2 hours in which time generator has supplied a further 20Kwh. Hence to my reckoning the car should be capable of 50 to 60 mph for many hours.

    As an example let’s say we are going to grandma’s place 140 miles away, then 140 miles at 50mph = 2.8 hours. 2.8 hours @10 Kwh generator is 28 Kwh. plus 17Kwh battery = 45 Kwh or just over 16Kwh for each of the 2.8 hours of drive time. Now according to the statistics given the car has a range on battery only of 87 miles so if we travel at 50 mph this is 1.74 hours and 17.4 Kwh of power produced by the generator. In other words as long as you have gas the range is unlimited and in practice a 5Kw generator will likely suffice for a 140 mile trip to Grandma’s.

    We already know the battery will take us 87 miles in 1.74 hours during which time the smaller 5kw generator has produced 8.7Kwhr so 140 miles total. a 1 lunch break and the car is ready to drive another 30 plus miles.

  • anderlan

    Is this an EV-Hybrid…Hybrid?

    Wouldn’t it be easier to put a charging port inside the trunk and drop portable honda generator in there for extended range? I’m serious. The biggest work would be adding the new mode to the battery-regen controller software.

    If we need the flexibility of offering a generator OR a bigger battery, then also put in a port next to the charge port to plug an additional larger battery. Once again, the work is in the integration of the larger battery into the resource management algorithms of the vehicle’s controller, and in the electrical engineering of the whole system.

    Screw mechanical linkages.

    • SirSparks

      I posted my comment before seeing yours, needless to say I agree with you although for heat dissipation noise and connection problems (gas,air & exhaust) I don’t think a standard Honda would work. Also a purpose built unit does not need speed control and can have only two positions; full speed and Off, this way it can then be tuned to the most efficient speed instead of needing multiple speeds with varying efficiencies.

  • These people need a hobby……since the surge in popularity of EVs, this is the most rediculous thing I have seen…..32K without modules? This aberation gets less gas mileage than 27 cars available in the US, and would cost twice as much as the smaller Prius…..in fact…..you could buy a prius, and solar panels to save on your home power costs and have effectively NO fuel costs at all…..

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