PSA Peugeot Citroën debuts Hybrid Air powertrain, set to enter production in 2016 [video]

Promises to drastically reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

PSA Peugeot Citroën has unveiled a new Air Hybrid powertain at the company's Innovation Day celebration.

Described as an "important step towards the 2 L/100km (117.6 mpg US / 141.2 mpg UK) car," the Air Hybrid system uses a petrol engine, compressed air, a hydraulic motor-pump and an automatic transmission with an epicyclic gear train. The company declined to go into specifics, but the powertrain has three operating modes: petrol only, air only and combined petrol and air.

PSA estimates that if the technology were applied to the Citroën C3 or Peugeot 208, the models would average 2.9 L/100km (81.1 mpg US / 97.4 mpg UK) and have CO2 emissions of 69 g/km. More importantly, in city driving, the cars could operate as a zero emission vehicle - in Air mode - for 60 to 80 percent of the time.

Despite sounding overly complex, PSA Peugeot Citroën has plans to offer the system on B-segment vehicles in 2016.

Source: PSA Peugeot Citroën


“The process by which automobiles evolve is advancing very quickly in what is a profoundly changing environment. In 2012, PSA Peugeot Citroën was the European leader in fuel-efficient cars, with the market’s lowest CO2 emissions. We are stepping up our innovation here at PSA Peugeot Citroën to meet the major challenges of tomorrow’s mobility. Today, we will be showing you pioneering solutions for vehicles that respond to new customer expectations in an ever-more environmentally friendly way.”

With this message, Guillaume Faury, Executive Vice President of Research & Development at PSA Peugeot Citroën, welcomed 100 business and political decision makers, partners and journalists to the Group's Automotive Design Network (ADN) R&D centre in Vélizy, France for its Innovation Day.

During the event, guests had the opportunity to discover several game-changing technologies developed by PSA Peugeot Citroën to meet the challenges facing the car of the future, including urbanisation, climate change, consumers' shifting mobility choices and new ways of using vehicles.

In particular, the Group organised a world-premiere presentation of a revolutionary technology called Hybrid Air, a petrol and compressed air full-hybrid solution.
During a press conference, Philippe Varin, Chairman of the Group's Managing Board, Guillaume Faury, Executive Vice President of Research & Development, Philippe Bouyoux, France’s Deputy General Commissioner for Investment Projects and François Loos, Chairman of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), unveiled a new type of full-hybrid powertrain known as Hybrid Air. This breakthrough technology, which combines a petrol engine and compressed air for energy storage, represents a key step towards the 2l/100km car by 2020.

Other brand new solutions available as from 2013 on Peugeot and Citroën brand vehicles to meet emerging expectations were also presented, including:

EMP2: PSA Peugeot Citroën’s new global modular platform
Participants were treated to a preview of the Group’s new global platform, Efficient Modular Platform 2 (EMP2). This new generation platform provides effective solutions in terms of modularity, equipment and carbon reduction.

Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR): an innovative technology for eliminating diesel NOx emissions
In 2013, PSA Peugeot Citroën will introduce selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to maintain its leadership in diesel engine efficiency and lower NOx emissions to the level of petrol engines. Because it is positioned upstream from the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) with additive, this unique technology makes it possible to both eliminate NOx and reduce fuel consumption (by 2 to 4% from Euro 5 levels).

Lastly, innovations that set the stage for the car of the future were also on display, including:

Eco Hybrid: a broadly accessible hybrid solution
The use of this technology on petrol and diesel vehicles in the B, C and D segments will reduce CO2 emissions by 15g and cut fuel consumption by up to 15%.

Dedicated Exhaust Gas Recirculation System (EGR): an innovative solution to optimise petrol engine fuel consumption
This innovation is designed to improve petrol engine efficiency and deliver significant fuel savings.

Hydole: a mainly electric hybrid demonstrator
The Group and its partners have developed a plug-in hybrid demonstrator that puts peace of mind into the EV driving experience to test the potential uses of the car of the future and meet customer expectations for driving range, comfort and affordability.

VelV: the light city electric vehicle
60% of trips within cities are made in individual cars, with a resulting impact on CO2 emissions. VelV is a light electric vehicle project designed to meet city and suburban driving needs with a record power consumption level of just 85 Wh/km travelled.

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Comments (9)

9TNine 9TNine
Excellent idea. Smart these French... Remember seeing in 2009, a video of an air (only) powered car in France. Looks like they've taken that technology a step further.
Jan 23rd, 2013 1:29pm
0 1
pzxpjy pzxpjy
@Han_solo Aha, great idea for off-board production and charging. But it involves a series of works, such as the infrastructure, international standard of charging port, "air price", etc. IMO compressed air here is mainly used as a secondary energy source, in order to recover braking energy efficiently. My personal favorite solution is the supercapacitor. It is known that conventional battery could not be fully charged within a short period, such as the braking process, which only lasts for a couple of seconds. Prius for instance, can only regenerate approx. 30% of braking energy to the battery. But supercapacitor could be charged in a very short time period. And then, converting the electrical energy to kinetic energy is also highly efficient.
Jan 23rd, 2013 9:13am
1 1
Han Solo Han Solo
You are right, Supercapacitors seems to be the most promising solution at this point... lets hope and pray that we would all be driving clean, green alternative fuel cars before 2020...
Jan 23rd, 2013 10:31am
1 1
mongo mongo
If this will work, I'll eat my shoe. Although I've been praying it will.
Jan 22nd, 2013 10:18pm
0 2
hf7188 hf7188
Finally, a big car company invests in this type of motor solution. And i think it's a very good idea, mainly because it requires less electronics to manage than a fully electric/plug-in hybrid, less weight if we compare the gas bottles to the batteries usually used in cars (electric ones, obviously), and spares a little bit more the environment (no lithium mining, battery recycling, among others). I'm really happy to see this solution coming from a big car company and praise PSA for this.
Jan 22nd, 2013 7:40pm
1 3
pzxpjy pzxpjy
It is great to see people are exploring alternative energy storage solutions, in order to tackle three main issues on conventional batteries: power-to-weight ratio, energy density and recycling. PSA has compressed air. Mazda6 is using supercapacitor. Porsche has flywheel battery on GT3 R Hybrid. Under certain circumstance, these solutions might be better than battery. But how about energy conversion efficiency, temperature management, lifespan and safety. It remains to be seen.
Jan 22nd, 2013 7:30pm
4 0
Garais877 Garais877
Jan 22nd, 2013 8:18pm
0 0
Han Solo Han Solo
I personally like the interim energy storage solution from PSA very much. However compressed air is useful to either complement, amplify or replace the Fossil Fuel based Compression type Internal Combustion Engines (ICE) only... Either way, if we can find a strong enough and small enough Pressure Vessel that can fit into a car, this might be a viable Interim solution to the Energy Storage Issue as Compressed Air can be produced and stored very efficiently OFF-Board compared to ON-Board compressors which would greatly increase the Weight, Complexity and Cost of the vehicle. Large scale OFF-Board production would definitely be more economical.... Instead of replacing the whole Compressed Air Cannister, we might just have to pump in very Highly Compressed Gas... or Highly Reactive/ Explosive Industrial Chemicals which can produce large amounts of gas in mere fractions of a second...Just my opinion.
Jan 23rd, 2013 8:36am
1 0
pzxpjy pzxpjy
Aha, great idea for off-board production and charging. But it involves a series of works, such as the infrastructure, international standard of charging port, "air price", etc. IMO compressed air here is mainly used as a secondary energy source, in order to recover braking energy efficiently.
Jan 23rd, 2013 9:02am
0 0