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Air Hybrid Could See Production By 2018

By EV World Editorial Staff

PSA Peugeot Citroen has taken the concept of a compressed air car and mated it to a hydraulic hybrid and three-cylinder engine to create a gasoline-air hybrid that offers a 45 percent savings in overall fuel economy and zero emissions in urban environments.

Someday, somewhere, someone is going to create an affordable, long-live, high energy density chemical battery. Maybe it will be lithium air or magnesium air, both promising breakthrough technologies with stored energy capacity akin to gasoline.

But in the interim, carmakers like PSA Peugeot are exploring other pathways towards more efficient, less polluting power plants. One of those paths shares something in common with the chemical batteries above: air. They have developed a hybrid system that instead of storing energy as electrons in expensive batteries, stores it in the form of compressed air.

PSA Peugeot Citroen claims that not only will vehicles equipped with the Hybrid Air drive enjoy 'savings of 45% in city driving,' which they says translates into a 90% increas in driving range, but also represents a significant drop in carbon emissions.

Certified fuel consumption stands at 2.9l/100km in combined-cycle driving, for CO2 emissions of around 69g/km for standard body style models such as the Citroën C3 or Peugeot 208. In comparison, PSA Peugeot Citroën’s 3-cylinder petrol engines with manual gearshift produce 104g of CO2 per km in combined-cycle driving. Vehicles equipped with Hybrid Air technology can also run on Air Power alone (with no CO2 emissions) 60 to 80% of the time in city driving, depending on traffic density, thanks to the optimal efficiency of energy recovery during braking. Lastly, the materials used in Hybrid Air technology are both plentiful and easily recyclable, for a lower environmental impact.

Serious Cost Savings

This last point about materials being 'plentiful and easily recyclable' means manufacturing costs can be much lower and that means more vehicles can be equipped with it. PSA is planning to adapt it to a wide range of their models in the "B segment (82 hp petrol engine) and C segment (110 hp petrol engine) models, as well as light commercial vehicles."

Here's a graph they included in their press release to show the environmental and cost impact of various vehicle drive technologies. If they can meet their cost goals, Hybrid Air systems could be the wave of the future.

PSA Peugeot Citroen Hybrid Air cost graph

Times Article Viewed: 4903
Originally published: 25 Jan 2013

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