Tag Archive | "Hybrid Air"

Compressed Air Cars


Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? There is a fair bit of air about and by and large it is free – for now at least. Owning a car that runs on air would be the dream of every cash-strapped motorist and, in the past, some manufacturers have looked at this as a possible solution but without any meaningful success. The rise of the electric car and the various hybrid options means that other technology has rather gone on the back burner but over at Peugeot Citroen they haven’t given up.

The company have presented a new hybrid that uses compressed air instead of electricity as the secondary means of drive and they are getting pretty puffed up about it. It’s called Hybrid Air and could potentially allow a small hatchback to run with CO² emissions as low as 69g/km.

The set-up consists of a regular petrol engine linked to an epicyclical transmission. Apparently this uses gears that revolve around a central gear in the same manner as planets orbit around the sun. This in turn is assisted by an hydraulic motor running on compressed air. The air tank is slung underneath the car and is recharged by regenerative braking technology.

As with any other hybrid the car can run on petrol or air alone, or as a combination of the two. Air power alone would, of course, mean zero emissions and could be suitable for city driving for over fifty percent of the time.

Inevitably this extra equipment means extra weight but it isn’t as bad as the common petrol/electric versions, adding about one hundred kilos overall. The simplicity of the system coupled with the lack of battery packs means no expensive lithium-ion content and Peugeot Citroen reckon this will help promote the science to the greener motorist. It should also make the cars more affordable. They also believe that Hybrid Air will offer up to 45% improved fuel consumption over a regular car with benefits also in range.

The company will show Hybrid Air cars at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. Initially appearing in B and C segment cars using petrol engines between 80 and 110bhp they hope to start production in 2016. The ultimate aim is to be in a position to offer well over 100mpg by 2020. Nothing as yet on pricing but it is very encouraging that Peugeot Citroen are investing in technology that could make a real difference in the long run on the expense of car ownership and the health of the planet.

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