Peugeot Hybrid Air In Jeopardy
Peugeot reportedly is preparing to scale back development of its Hybrid Air engine technology, purportedly due to anticipated changes in French policy. First announced in 2013, the Hybrid Air promised up to a 45% improvement in fuel economy and potentially zero emissions in urban driving by using compressed air in conjunction with a PSA Peugeot Citroën’s 3-cylinder petrol engines. Installed in a Peugeot 208, the company promised 2.9L/100km in combined-cycle driving, for CO2 emissions of around 69g/km. That's equivalent to 81 mpg and the beauty of it is that it doesn't require expensive batteries like electric hybrids. It can offer an affordable bridge to a less carbon-intense transportation system.
Peugeot CEO Maxime Picat cites the £5000 grant for plug-in vehicles across the channel in Britain as an example of governments picking technological pathways, while restricting other promising approaches like the Hybrid Air approach.
The lack of government support or an automotive partner to help with the cost of further perfecting the technology could force the French carmaker to shelve the Hybrid Air. As EV World's publisher noted in Does Peugeot's 2008 HYbrid Air Really 'Run' on Air?, that despite its encouraging -- and hopefully not "Volkswagened" -- performance numbers, "it still relies on petroleum, it still has an exhaust pipe, and it still takes up a lot of space for a vehicle that usually transports only one person most of the time."
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