The cars we drive could be about to become even greener: thanks to a technological breakthrough from PSA Peugeot Citroen and Bosch, known as Hybrid Air.
Following on from the first appearance of a Bosch electric axle-split hybrid in Peugeot’s diesel vehicles, plans are now under way to develop a hydraulic hybrid powertrain for Peugeot Citroen’s passenger cars. The idea is that it will use compressed air for energy storage and will be fitted on the company’s B-segment models starting from 2016.
According to PSA Peugeot Citroen, the hydraulic components are able to recover and store energy that is generated by the internal combustion engine and by braking. This energy is then used to drive the car.
Thanks to a specific continuous transmission, use is optimised based on the energy source. For example, with petrol power, the engine is the sole source of propulsion; with air power, the hydraulic motor transmits energy to the wheels via the accumulator; and with combined power, the engine and hydraulic motor work together: and at low loads the internal combustion engine can run more economically.
According to PSA Peugeot Citroen, the result is that CO2 emissions can be reduced by as much as 30 per cent on the European driving cycle: and by 45 per cent on the urban driving cycle.
Indeed certified fuel consumption is 81.1mpg with CO2 emissions at around 69g/km for standard body styles of models such as the Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3. This compares to three-cylinder petrol engines with manual gearshifts that produce around 104g/km in combined cycle driving. With the new Hybrid Air technology, vehicles could even run on air power alone for 60-80 per cent of the time in city driving conditions.
PSA Peugeot Citroen suggests that the technology could potentially be combined with any conventional engine and will also be suitable for other passenger car segments and light delivery trucks.
Paul is a freelance writer with a background in everything from motoring to finance; and holidays to women's undergarments he just writes about them, honestly! He has now sadly crept into his early 30s and seems to have forgotten everything learned at school Still, he's a green car fanatic and isn't that what counts?
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