Peugeot 2008 hybrid air at forefront of technology

Peugeot has released details of its ground-breaking 2008 HYbrid Air model. Combining petrol and compressed air to offer a full hybrid solution, the 2008 HYbrid Air model travels in Zero Emissions Vehicle mode for up to 80% of the time, with no fuel consumption.

Peugeot has released details of its ground-breaking 2008 HYbrid Air model. Combining petrol and compressed air to offer a full hybrid solution, the 2008 HYbrid Air model travels in Zero Emissions Vehicle mode for up to 80% of the time, with no fuel consumption.

The 2008 HYbrid Air will be unveiled at the Peugeot Stand at the forthcoming Geneva Motor Show this March, where Peugeot will reaffirm its strategy of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions across its range.

Following a homologation cycle test, Peugeot’s HYbrid Air technology achieved a figure of 97.4mpg (2.9 litres/100km) and CO2 levels of just 69g/km. This new technology is therefore an essential step towards Peugeot’s ultimate goal of improving fuel consumption even further to 140mpg (2 litres/100km) by means of affordable technology which can be applied to cars and light commercial vehicles in the B and C segments.

The HYbrid Air combines two energies and uses new components to the motor industry which have been widely tested in other sectors such as aeronautics. Compressed air will assist, or even take the place of Peugeot’s latest generation compact 3-cylinder petrol engine during the phases which consume the most energy, i.e. acceleration and moving off.

Switching between the three modes available is seamless for the driver. In the Air (ZEV) mode, only the energy contained in a compressed air tank will drive the vehicle. As it de-pressurises, the air occupies an increasing amount of space in the energy tank and so displaces a corresponding volume of oil. This is an energy carrier which supplies the hydraulic motor coupled to the drivetrain. As the engine is switched off, the vehicle moves without consuming any fuel or emitting any CO2. This mode especially comes into its own when driving in urban areas.

In Petrol mode, only the 1.2-litre VTi 3-cylinder petrol engine powers the vehicle. This engine benefits from the latest technology to offer, compared to the previous generation, a reduction in weight of 21kg, a 30% friction reduction and advanced thermo-management to reach optimum operating temperatures more quickly. This mode is particularly suited to steady speeds on main roads and motorways.

In the Combined mode, the petrol engine and hydraulic motor operate simultaneously, to achieve optimum fuel economy. This mode is intended in particular for the open road.

The energy tank is filled in two ways. On braking or releasing the accelerator, speed is reduced not by application of the brake pads to the brake discs but by resistance to compression of air in the accumulator. Alternatively it is filled by restarting the internal combustion engine; in this situation, some of the energy produced by the petrol engine is used to compress the air. In both cases, the maximum energy capacity of the pressurised accumulator is reached very quickly - in just ten seconds.

An EGC (Electronic Gearbox Control) drivetrain manages the distribution between the two motors and replaces a manual gearbox to offer automated gear changes.

Peugeot’s HYbrid Air technology is the result of a project which brought together 200 specialists who worked closely with key strategic suppliers, including Bosch. HYbrid Air was developed in financial partnership with the Ademe Investing in the Future Programme, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency. Over 80 patents testify to the expertise brought together for this important research and development work.