For those perplexed by making the right powertrain choice – pure battery electric, plug-in hybrid or hybrid – there may be a solution. For SCI, a Romanian concept design team, the solution would be modular units that offer the driver a choice – to transform the car from an all-electric car for clean daily operation, say, or into a hybrid for interurban travel when recharging possibilities aren't exactly available.

Called "hyMod – The modular hybrid," the system is all computer generated for now (see the gallery or the video below). The concept car was proposed by the Romanian team, which is composed of an automotive journalist, Dan Scarlat, a designer, Marian Cilibeanu, and an engineer, Cristian Ionescu. Most of the video shows a small crossover-style car, similar to a more rounded version of the Honda Fit hatchback. It does have distinct wheels that look something like a blossoming flower.

Then the video reveals the modular concept by asking a question: "Full electric or Hybrid? Your choice!" The SCI hyMod station allows for installation of one of two components – battery pack or engine pack. The modular unit, whether battery or engine (hybrid), is nothing like what you'd expect – it's the whole back end of the car. So, it's only a little bit like Better Place's battery switching. The Romanian team would not call the place where you swap out the back end a switching station. Their name for it is a "dedicated logistics center."

It is purely a concept at this point. Still, it's an interesting concept, and the team figures it could offer speeds up to 130 kilometers an hour (80 miles per hour) and an all-electric range of 180 km (112 miles). You can learn more at the hyMod website.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 20 Hours Ago
      Ah concept designers. Not engineers?
      • 20 Hours Ago
      An interesting idea, and it looks so easy in the video.... but I think packaging all of the vehicle drive-train components into a swappable rear module would make the vehicle weight poorly distributed and adversely affect handling.
        Giza Plateau
        • 20 Hours Ago
        I think that part could be overcome with a small engine/pack. I see a Better Place like dependence and infrastructure problem. Unless you simply own both and can swap yourself.