Peugeot-Citroen has committed to introducing its hybrid-air technology by 2016, displayed at Geneva in the form of its Peugeot 2008 HYbrid Air. Target figures are a 45% fuel reduction over the equivalent petrol engine and CO2 emissions down to 69g/km.
Based on its new EMP2 platform, the technology will first appear on the next Citroen Picasso.
Dr Karim Mokaddem, hybrid-air project director, admitted the biggest challenge facing the new technology was preparing components that haven’t previously been used in mass production in the car industry.
The concept of using compressed air to power cars dates from the late 1950s
“We are working with Bosch to industrialise the process,” Mokaddem, who oversaw the start of work on the project two years ago, said in Geneva.
First prototypes were very efficient in city driving, but less efficient at higher speeds. Peugeot-Citroen is now on its fourth-generation.
“One of the primary bonuses is the technology is more affordable at about half the cost of traditional hybrids,” he said. “The technology and components are not new — what’s new is the way we have put it together.”