Compressed air hybrid

hybrid-air-1PSA Peugeot-Citroen’s fortunes have been dismal lately. They’ve posted one of the biggest losses of European car makers for 2012, and continue with alarming operating costs on a daily basis. This makes me very worried, because I’m a big Citroen fan, and I hate seeing them this way. However, PSA has recently announced a new type of hybrid system for their smaller cars,developed in conjunction with Bosch, that uses cylinders of compressed air instead of batteries. You can see a video of it here. The main aim of the system is for city driving, which as we know, is by far the most fuel-consuming part of a car’s use (unless you’re one of those lead.footed wankers). PSA say the compressed air will account “60 to 80 per cent of the time in city driving,”, and improve fuel efficiency by some 45% and range by 90%.

The system adds about 100kg to the weight of a traditional ICE powered small car, which is around half that of a conventional hybrid system. PSA claims it uses very simple, serviceable parts, with no rare metals like lithium-ion. The goal is to develop a ‘global’ system that’s cheaper than existing hybrids to appeal to China and Russia as much as European markets.

This is definitely an excellent idea, and any and every possible technological path that leads to lower fuel consumption must be explored. The problem is the release date: 2016. That’s very far down the line. Both PSA and the world at large need this sort of tech in showroons yesterday.

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