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Peugeot unveils 83 mpg diesel hybrid

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.

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Just a quick fly-by diary. I am travelling and have only temporary internet access (but I hope to be around some later tonight).

Crossposted on dailykos (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/1/31/14135/4436) for your recommends...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 02:19:02 PM EST
I think improving auto efficiency is going to turn out to be a zero sum game. For example, the trend in the US is towards edge communities which are beyond traditional suburbs. The premise is that land is cheap, it's either desert or uneconomic farm land, and thus housing costs less.

So people move further away and commute in cars. If the cost of travel remains modest the calculation works to their benefit - time (of travel) vs space (of living quarters). Now when fuel goes up the equation shifts and fringe communities become less desirable. This has not happened yet in the US even with the run up in fuel prices.

If autos become more efficient it will just allow people to continue to move to fringe areas or even create newer, more distant ones. The net result will be that total fuel use will not decline.

There are two things that might work, a new tax structure which discourages driving (either via incentives for, say, taking mass transit, or inefficiency taxes), or an industrial/land use policy which makes the development of fringe communities disfavored.

There is little chance of this happening in the US, both the car and the home are "a man's castle". Anyone proposing restrictions will not be in government for long.

Perhaps someone from Europe would like to evaluate the impact there since commuting seems to be more rational and to cover shorter distances.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 02:41:19 PM EST
There are two things that might work, a new tax structure which discourages driving (either via incentives for, say, taking mass transit, or inefficiency taxes), or an industrial/land use policy which makes the development of fringe communities disfavored.

There is little chance of this happening in the US, both the car and the home are "a man's castle". Anyone proposing restrictions will not be in government for long.

If you're going to discourage development in the 'exurbs' you also have to allow development in the inner suburbs and cities - i.e. support higher density housing. You live in Long Island I believe - how much willingness is there to support changing zoning from single unit to multi-unit housing?  I live in Brooklyn in a neighbourhood which is supposed to get a band of high rise housing towers built next to a major transit hub, along a major thoroughfare and replacing a mix of non-descript low rise housing, old industrial buildings, car repair shops and empty lots. Most of my very liberal neighbours hate the idea because it will 'change the character' of the neighbourhood. I've read of similar responses around the country in both urban and inner suburban areas, liberal and moderate alike - think the DC suburbs or the Bay area. (we're talking almost exclusively about blue America here - not too many thoroughly conservative areas).  Until such kneejerk hostility to higher density residential development is overcome all the handwringing over sprawl is pointless, people have to live someplace and if the choice is between the urban neighbourhood from hell, ridiculously expensive urban or inner suburban areas, or the exurbs, guess what they'll choose.

by MarekNYC on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 02:59:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nassau county NY is an interesting case. It was the first suburb created after WWII (Levittown being the exemplar development). It is now a mature suburb, there is almost no open land available, people have started tearing down acceptable houses and putting on McMansions on the same sites. There is a lot of opposition to this as well.

The population has actually fallen since 1990 (down about 64,000), but it is still 1.3 million. This makes it a fairly high density region, comparable to the single family areas of Queens and Brooklyn in NYC. In addition the high cost of living has meant that young people are leaving making the population grow older. The local government is aware of these trends and is studying options (including high density housing), but so far without much progress. Mass transit is quite good for a suburb with the Long Island Railroad reaching all major villages. It is designed, however to funnel people in and out of Manhattan and thus almost all other travel is via private cars (buses are under utilized).

So, Nassau county was also the site of the first commuter highways (the Northern State Parkway and the infamous Long Island Expressway). This has been the model for the arms race between more cars and more highways. The LIE was just expanded to four lanes from three each way and traffic still overwhelms it for most of the day. So as a laboratory to see what urban planning can do it will be a useful place to watch.

The fringe communities are a newer phenomena, occurring mostly in the West. Since these are the areas experiencing the most growth they are the ones that need the most careful design if they aren't going to be complete disasters in 50 years.


Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 03:27:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When I was in Riverside, CA, I had some insight into the city planning department and the popular and political hostility to mixed residential-commercial zoning was so intense as to have held up the revitalization of the downtown district for a very long time. And this despite the better judgement of the city planners.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 04:02:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In that case I think the sensible thing for Europe to do is let the US and China fight it to the death for access to the remaining oil and replace cars with other means of transportation.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 04:12:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder what the real numbers will prove to be.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 03:07:02 PM EST
By how much do gasoline/diesel prices need to increase for the fuel savings over the life of the car to offset the higher cost of the hybrid car itself?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 04:40:19 PM EST
I haven't done the calculation recently, but last time I did it, it was a lot. Basically enough years to put a lot of people off.
by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 05:16:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is also the hidden issue (always) -- the energy and emissions cost of producing the vehicle itself.  iirc the average US car has already been responsible for 30 percent of its lifetime's emissions burden (greenhouse gases etc) before it leaves the showroom floor.  The notion that we will fix all our problems by replacing the entire national vehicle fleet with clever hybrids seems to me fairly risible;  on the timescale necessary to do something effective about carbon emissions and climate destab, it would mean a car manufacturing spike (in emissions and energy/fuel consumption) that would kind of defeat the purpose.  Manufacturing the traction engines only and repowering existing (suitable candidate) vehicles would be more practical... but alas a huge chunk of the US fleet consists of carcasses so grotesquely large, anti-aerodynamic, and heavy that they are not, in fact, suitable candidates.

IMHO the new technologies for autos are desirable and practical only in concert with a serious transport mode change, i.e. car sharing, public transport, rail and bus expansion, curtailment of air transport, etc.   By themselves, cute new ICE technologies are merely bandaids on a gangrenous amputation -- or less colourfully, consoling toys for affluent people enabling us to kid ourselves that we are Doing Something About the Problem.  [Titanic, deck chairs, and so on.]  My $0.02...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Tue Jan 31st, 2006 at 08:43:06 PM EST
It seems to me that this sort of development is just what you would expect as a result of changes in the cost of transportation. At any given price point for oil, some mix of transportation systems will make the most sense. The diesel hybrid approach makes sense at some higher price point, and "everybody walks" at some even higher point.

If some kind of plug-in-diesel-hybrid makes sense in 2010, then that's what we will have. I think the two principal problems are:

  • Whether the transportation system can evolve quickly enough to follow the change in oil price, particularly if an additional tax is imposed to account for climate change effects.
  • How the balance between the rich and poor will be handled.
by asdf on Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 12:26:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have a problem with plug-in-diesel, and that is that the fuel efficiency gains (and emission reductions) are offset by the need to charge the batteries from the power grid, and this additional energy cost and pollution are not taken into account.

However, these Peugeot models seem not to be plug-in models? They are claimed to be able to start on an empty battery and (did I get this right?) charge the battery mainly from braking?

In any case, this is all window dressing as DeAnander points out.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 05:14:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually the mass production of energy, even using undesirable fuels like coal, is pretty efficient and the pollution is pretty low. Also one can hope for eventual improvements in this area, for example wind power.

An open question is how you should measure the efficiency of various technologies. What is the MPG of a plug-in hybrid? What do you do about the different energy densities of diesel oil and gasoline? Perhaps cars should be measured in energy units rather than miles per gallon (or km per l or whatever).

by asdf on Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 08:04:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The model on display is not a plug in. But diesel hybrids are still a progress (provided that the technology gets somewhat cheaper) and plug in hybrids would be yet another progress. Plug ins can be powered by renewable electricity.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Feb 1st, 2006 at 02:35:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Peugeot ended its exports to the US a long time ago.  My 1980s / early 1990s car was a diesel 505, that I tweaked to above 35 mph ... but couldn't keep it maintained in the US at an affordable price.

I would welcome a chance to go back to a Peugeot ...

by BesiegedByBush (BesiegedByBushATyahooDOTcom) on Thu Feb 2nd, 2006 at 03:03:17 PM EST
35 mph, eh? Sounds like a typical diesel!  :-)
by asdf on Thu Feb 2nd, 2006 at 09:40:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A small dilemma we have here- no access to these (or most other) diesel vehicles. I'm surprised nobody mentioned running one of these baby's on biodiesel, why not run it on B100 (100% biodiesel)? I know the creation of biodiesel is not yet out of the petroleum loop, but it seems possible to make the shift. Of course, allowing US farmers to grow Industial Hemp would help...

The bottom line for me is that cars are not going away, especially here in the US, anytime soon. Barring a MAJOR oil crises, of course. Biodiesel and diesel/hybrids like these offer a workable solution, IMHO.

by US Blues on Sat Feb 4th, 2006 at 10:16:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We've got plenty of diesel-powered vehicles. You just don't have the right attitude!  :-)

by asdf on Sat Feb 4th, 2006 at 12:13:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i think a model t would probably more practical to run on woodgas or a pigshit digester and forge new parts for from a charcoal burner.

all those irreplaceable computer chips!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Feb 5th, 2006 at 05:13:18 AM EST


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