Renault's new concept car, the Morphoz EV, is like no other EV car you have ever seen. With its futuristic features, the car is also unique in the fact that it actually "transforms."
Let's take a quick look.
Renaults new concept EV can actually "transform"
Renault has recently released its latest concept EV called the Morphoz EV. This concept car's main unique feature is its ability to literally transform to prepare it for city or long-distance journeys.
The EV, when in "city" mode, sports a 40 kWh battery that is "good" for 90% of most people's driving in cities and suburbs. But for the remaining 10% of journeys out of the city, the car is able to stretch to "Travel" mode.
This longer incarnation of the vehicle allows for the installation of a larger 50 kWh battery extender. The larger battery addition can be installed at special stations through a flap in the bottom of the Morphoz within seconds.
This battery extender would be able to improve the car's range to around 700 km for use on highways.
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The extended "Travel" mode adds an additional 20 cm to the car's length to accommodate the additional battery. It also makes the internal cabin a little more spacious to make longer journeys a bit more comfortable.
This is accomplished using something Renault calls the car's "active bodywork". By using fighter-plane like side flaps, the car's chassis can slide from one mode to another with ease.
The rear bumper, quarter lights, and air deflectors also move to make the car more aerodynamic on the road or more practical when toddling around the city.
When the trip is over "the user stops at a station to return the extra batteries and revert to the original 40 kWh capacity of the vehicle's City configuration," Renault said in a press release for the (now defunct) 2020 Geneva Motor Show.
The station would then, in theory, recharge the batteries so that they're ready for the next use.
The Morphoz actually charges through induction
Another cool feature of Renault's new concept EV is its induction charging. This would mean that it could be charged with ease at home, at special charging stations or even while driving on roads equipped with induction chargers.
When you are not charging the EV you could also use its batteries to power household appliances via vehicle to grid bi-directional technology.
Renault also said about their battery pack size that "there is no need to produce batteries with a nominal 90 kWh capacity for every vehicle... limiting production in this way is good for the carbon footprint and environment."
Renault's Morphoz also supports something called level 3 (eyes off, hands-off) autonomous driving -- much like the 2017 Symbioz concept car. This would mean that you would be able to work or play while on the road.
But, it should be noted that Renault's current lineup only supports level 2 self-driving. Level 3 would only become available when "permitted by regulations and technological developments."
The Morphoz comes with some other cool futuristic features
Being a concept car, the Morphoz also comes with some other interesting futuristic features. For example, it is able to detect its passengers and the driver and shift the cabin around to make them feel more comfortable.
The steering wheel can also retract enabling the opening up of a "living screen" instrument panel showing driver and infotainment systems. This is much like the current Honda E which actually has a similar system in production.
The Morphoz also lacks a center "B" pillar providing tons of extra internal space. Because of this passengers "can behave as if they were sitting in armchairs around a table," Renault added.
Obviously this is still a concept car and many of its features will likely never arrive in an actual production model -- like the retractable steering wheel for example. But, some of the ideas it introduced, including the modular platform, long wheelbase, and the flat floor will likely feature in future generations of Renault EVs.