In an abrupt and shock reveal, Japanese electronics architect Sony appear its Vision-S abstraction car to world at CES this week. Sony? Making a car? WHAT!?! 

Last year Tesla also apparent its Cybertruck. An angular, steel, allegedly bulletproof electric account agent advised in line with Musk’s dystopian vision of the future.

But there are more astute — and more important — concepts on affectation at CES, like Fiat’s Centoventi electric abstraction car.

webrok

Italian automaker Fiat first announced the Centoventi last year as part of its 120th Anniversary celebrations, which should come as no abruptness if you speak Italian. 

Fiat says it wants the Centoventi to adjust mobility. In other words, it wants to make an “affordable but cool” car. That’s absolutely been true in the past. Take the aboriginal 500. It was cute, fun, cheap, and so basic parts were easy to come by.

It’s easy to make highly abstruse cars, packed with features, cool. But making them affordable? That’s a little more difficult. Fiat thinks it can do it with its electric, modular Centoventi, though. And for one, I hope it does.

Electric cars are expensive, and the batteries are abundantly to blame. Ever wondered why Tesla’s have great range, but are also very pricey? There’s your answer.

webrok

With growing emissions regulations around the globe, it looks like the future of motoring is electric. But unless prices come down and affordability goes up, many will have to take a long hard look at how they get around. But hopefully, if more cars like the Centoventi get dreamed up, that won’t have to happen.

Pick your parts, including the battery

The Centoventi is an absolutely modular vehicle. It comes in one color and one base specification. It’s then down to the owner to adapt it to their liking. The bumpers, roof, wheels, and centralized accessories can all be afflicted to suit the owner’s desires. The best bit though, the array is modular too.

Fiat’s dream sees the Centoventi hold a modular array pack which has a starting range of about 100 km (ca. 62 miles) with the abeyant to expand it up to 500 km (ca. 310 miles).

It says added batteries could be bought when a driver’s needs change. The energy packs could even be rented if a driver needed a little extra range just for a weekend road trip. 

When the abstraction was first appear last year, Fiat said the car would in theory come with one branch fitted battery, but could fit an added three. Each array would access the vehicle’s range by 100 km (ca. 62 miles). 

Changing batteries would be as simple as accepted by your local Fiat dealer or account base and having them fit the new power banks. The batteries would mount into the floor pan of the car on sliding rails, to make applicable them almost easy. In principle, it would only take a few minutes.

Modularity means affordability

By making batteries modular, you can make an affordable, low range, entry model that would suit most electric active needs. But at the same time, you can abode a driver’s range all-overs by affairs them more batteries when and if they need them.

It’s a abstraction most people would be accustomed with if you’ve ever used a remote control, clock, watch, radio… It all sounds affably simple.

There have been attempts in the past to advance changeable car array platforms, but so far, none have materialized. 

One aggregation that was arch the charge for dispensable car batteries, Better Place, trialed its agent tech in Tel Aviv, Israel, and sold around 500 cars.

Like the Fiat Centoventi, Better Place’s hypothesis was as simple as bushing your car up with gasoline. You’d drive your car to a battery-switching station, machines would take out the old depleted array and put in a fully answerable new one. The action was said to take about 5 minutes.

webrok

Besides mitigating range anxiety, as array technology moves on, older electric cars could also have newer packs fitted to advance their range. It also makes the EV itself a bit cheaper, as the array is leased on a abstracted plan.

It’s a great idea; in theory

Sadly, Better Place fell flat with automakers. Only French architect Renault made a agent accordant with Better Place’s array swapping tech, and at that, it made just one model.

In hindsight, it isn’t all that surprising, though. 

To EV makers, array technology is vital bookish property. And it’s the main basic of an electric agent that affects its range. For Better Place’s idea to take off, all electric car manufacturers would need to commit to a connected battery. 

However, this would anticipate EV manufacturers from appropriate themselves on their array tech. Imagine if there was one type of laptop battery, it would badly affect the size, shape, weight, and importantly, performance, of said device. 

It turned out this was too big an ask for EV manufacturers. Better Place abeyance after losing $812 million; it filed for bankruptcy in 2013.

But conceivably the real botheration was that Better Place wanted to run before it could walk. It wanted to change an entire industry, before proving the abstraction in the early days of modern EVs.

Fiat’s abstraction doesn’t rely absolutely on dispensable batteries. They’re an added option, for when you need them. It provides a safety net for drivers.

Fiat’s idea focuses on just one vehicle. It doesn’t crave affecting changes in infrastructure, and the array backup action sounds simple enough that anyone could do it. 

Importantly though, all this could stand to make the Centoventi an affordable and highly usable electric vehicle.

Read next: This QuickBooks training will shore up your business accounting for under $30