Peugeot Bets on a Different Kind of Hybrid
From The New York Times
By David Jolly
What’s that car that just breezed past?
It’s the Hybrid Air — an experimental vehicle that the French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroën has been trumpeting lately as an exemplar of energy efficiency. While some skeptics doubt whether it is truly breakthrough technology, the Peugeot and Citroën concept cars containing it may prove to be some of the more intriguing models on display next week at the Geneva Motor Show.
Peugeot says a compact car like a Citroën C3 equipped with the technology will get about 100 kilometers per 2.9 liters, or 81 miles per gallon, in city driving. If so, that would be significantly more than existing hybrid electric vehicles like the Toyota Prius can achieve in stop-and-go traffic.
Peugeot, the second-biggest carmaker in Europe after Volkswagen, plans to begin rolling out Hybrid Air cars by 2015 or 2016.
Like a Toyota Prius, the Hybrid Air recovers energy each time the driver brakes or decelerates. But instead of using that braking energy to charge a battery, which then runs an electric motor — as in the Prius — the Hybrid Air has a reversible hydraulic pump that uses the braking energy to compress nitrogen gas in what looks like an oversized scuba tank. When the Hybrid Air driver next presses the accelerator, the compressed gas pushes hydraulic fluid, syringe fashion, through a gearbox to turn the wheels.
By posting your comment, you agree to abide by our Posting rules