New Peugeot Hybrid Technology Puts The Wind Up Competitors

Peugeot Hybrid Air

French car make Peugeot has unveiled plans to mass produce a car that uses compressed gas as a hybrid fuel source in a move that is likely to concern existing battery-based hybrid manufacturers such as Toyota.

The principle is not too dissimilar in that it stores the energy generated from braking but instead of charging a battery, the Hybrid Air solution is to use the energy to compress nitrogen that sits within a tank.

It has cost benefits over traditional battery technology and is supposedly easier to service. With a fuel consumption of over 80 miles to the gallon it could save hard off families a lot of money on their trips to the petrol station.

Peugeot claim carbon emissions of 69gCO2/km which is less than a Toyota Prius and significantly lower than the average car. This figure could drop even more as the technology progresses with Peugeot believing 117mpg is possible by 2020.

The ideal place for this type of car is in the city where lots of starting and stopping means even small petrol engines are vastly less efficient. This same stop-start driving also means a lot of energy goes into braking which is exactly what this air system needs.

There are also space savings over traditional battery hybrids so no more tiny boots or other compromises.

This type of system is currently being targeted at the micro/small end of the market but I would hope that, if successful, it would be adapted for larger vehicles.

My own personal view is that while this technology is great for future new car purchases, we shouldn’t forget to use our current stock of cars until they can no longer perform. I have posted before about how buying a new car for environmental reasons is not the immediate answer you might be looking for because of the emissions generated during production. Buying a fuel efficient second hand car is the way to go for now.

When and where there is a need for new cars though (such as in the developing world), technologies such as the Hybrid Air should be deployed before traditional petrol engines take hold of the market.

Read more on the Peugeot website.

Steve (156 Posts)

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