PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, Velizy, France, has announced plans to launch hybrid cars partially powered by compressed air by 2016. The company states that its so-called ‘Hybrid Air’ system developed with supplier Robert Bosch will weigh around 100 kg and will be used in mini cars and sub-compacts.
The system is around half the weight of other typical hybrids running on gasoline and battery power. A prototype Hybrid Air sub-compact was found to emit 72 grams of CO2 per km, compared with 104 grams for a Peugeot 208 model with the same combustion engine.
The technology uses a compressed air component to draw energy from the combustion engine and from the car’s brakes. The hydraulic system, which comprises two hydraulic units and their pressure accumulators, allows the vehicle to be driven in three ways: the conventional mechanical way, hydraulically, or by a combination of the two. In city driving conditions, the vehicles can travel on emission-free, compressed air power as much as 80% of the time with the three-cylinder gasoline engine cut, PSA said.
Bosch stated that the technology can be combined with any conventional engine and is suitable for all passenger-car segments and light delivery trucks in urban traffic. The hydraulic-mechanical powertrain system results in a hybrid powertrain that is more cost-effective, robust, and service-friendly. In addition, it does not require any special infrastructure, and can be deployed anywhere in the world.
(Source: Automotive News Europe and Reuters)