by Jerome a Paris
Sat Feb 4th, 2006 at 07:34:41 AM EST
Peugeot, the French car manufacturer and one of the leaders in the manufacture of diesel-powered cars, has unveiled two diesel-hybrid prototypes that go 80 mpg (3.4l/100 km). Based on existing midsize Peugeot and Citroen (pictured above) models, they combine the two most efficient technologies available today to improve fuel efficiency and show a promising way forward.
Note that the existing diesel versions of the 2 cars already have an excellent mileage of 60 mpg, as do many other diesel cars manufactured in Europe, with low particule emissions thanks to stringent European fuel standards and particule filters.
from the front page ~ w.
Peugeot and Citroen make 80mpg diesel hybrids
Peugeot and Citroen have developed new diesel-electric hybrids that can deliver more than 80mpg.
The Peugeot 307 and Citroen C4 Hybride HDi use a conventional 90bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine married to an electrically-controlled gearbox, stop-start technology to save fuel at lights or in traffic and an electric motor.
The electric motor, powered by batteries that are charged under braking, is used for an all-electric mode at speeds of less than 31mph and boosts overall power to 121bhp when used in conjunction with the diesel engine.
It helps to improve fuel consumption from 60.1mpg on the combined cycle to 83mpg, and significantly lower C02 emissions of 90g/km.
For the technology geeks:
FRANCE: PSA Peugeot-Citroen show diesel hybrid prototypes
PSA Peugeot Citroën's Hybrid HDi technology comprises of a 1.6-litre HDi diesel engine, a particulate filter system (DPFS) with the latest generation Stop & Start system, an electric motor, inverter, high-voltage battery pack and dedicated control electronics. The cars are also equipped with an electronically-managed automated manual six-speed gearbox.
The Stop & Start system enables the Hybride HDi vehicles to start and drive using only the HDi diesel engine, even when the high-voltage battery pack is totally flat. Other hybrid vehicles, in contrast, would be totally immobilised in this situation.
The Hybride HDi has several other features including: recovery of kinetic energy during deceleration and braking; an all-electric mode, or zero emission vehicle (ZEV), eliminating noise and emissions for urban driving at up to 50 kilometres an hour (30mph); and an extended ZEV mode, in which electrical power is used by default, depending on the battery charge level.
For main road and motorway driving, the electric motor can provide a 35% power boost for extra acceleration when needed.
PSA Peugeot Citroën could market its Hybride HDi vehicles as early as 2010 but their introduction depends on making this technology available at an affordable price. Today, the price gap between a Hybride HDi model and a comparable diesel HDi model is still too wide and would have to be halved to make diesel hybrid vehicles accessible to most consumers.
The boss of Peugeot made the comment that these vehicles would make economic sense when the price difference between a diesel-hybrid and a diesel is similar to that between a gasoline and a diesel (for the same car model), which means that the hybrid systems (essentially the battery) needs to be cut in half, thus the lag of a few years before commercialisation.
This is an obvious marketing ploy to fight Toyota and remind everybody that diesel cars offer today similar mpg and pollution levels to hybrids, at a lower cost - and thus that gasoline hybrids are not selling in Europe. Toyota has kindly commented that anything that makes hybrids better known and developped is a good thing... I suppose both are true, and are at least working to improve fuel performance of our cars - and both are highly successful and profitable companies.