Renault has revealed Morphoz, a new concept car that can be fitted with additional batteries when a longer range is required.
The car uses an extendable wheelbase that enables it to be both a compact city car and a larger long-distance cruiser.
In City mode the car has a length of 4.4 metres and utilises a 40kWh battery, giving a range of around 250 miles.
Switch to Travel mode and the front of the car extends, making the car 4.8 metres long and creating room for an additional 50kWh battery pack to be installed. In this configuration the Morphoz can cover up 435 miles, while offering passengers additional space.
Renault says the vehicle will extends and convert to Travel mode at a pre-determined battery station where the undertray of the vehicle opens and the extra batteries can be installed in just a few seconds.
Once back, the driver stops at a station to return the extra batteries and revert to the original 40kWh capacity and the smaller dimensions of City configuration. The station then recharges the batteries while putting them to additional use until they are needed by another vehicle, such as storing electricity from renewable energy sources or lighting infrastructure or an adjoining building.
When not being used for driving, the Morphoz’s main battery remains in the car but can power appliances in the house or the local area via smart charging devices and V2G (Vehicle to Grid) bi-directional technology.
The battery-sharing system means there is no need to produce batteries with a nominal 90kWh capacity for every vehicle. Renault says limiting production in this way is good for the carbon footprint and the environment.