A key step towards the heart of the hybrid range
With the HYbrid Air technology, Peugeot confirms on the one hand its strategy of reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and on the other hand its pioneering nature, with a new breakthrough solution.
In fact, the HYbrid Air combines petrol with compressed air in a full-hybrid solution. This technology is a key step in achieving the goal of 2.0-litres/100km, a feature destined to become widespread due to its simplicity, durability and international character.
Peugeot has set itself the goal of reducing the average CO2 emissions of its range to 116g/km in
2015 without sacrificing driving pleasure. To achieve this, it is investing in a range of technologies which are already present on its vehicles and permit substantial progress: continuous improvement of the efficiency of the internal combustion engines, a petrol and diesel engine down-sizing strategy, widespread use of the Stop & Start, electric vehicles, etc.
The accomplished HYbrid4, diesel-electric hybrid, is part of this process. Launched as a world first by Peugeot on the 3008 Crossover, it was then extended to the 508 RXH and the 508 Saloon HYbrid4. The 20,000 customers of the HYbrid4 technology have discovered a new driving experience the like of which they would not have experienced before, combining performance, simplicity of use, quiet operation while protecting the environment with CO2 emissions from 88g/km.
With the 2008 HYbrid Air, Peugeot is innovating once more in the interests of the environment and of its customers in all of its markets. In fact, this breakthrough technology is introduced on the 2008, the new urban crossover developed by and for three continents. It is the natural medium for this new drivetrain, which combines petrol and compressed air to fulfil the expectations of customers and rise to the increasing challenges of the motor industry.
The HYbrid Air technology is an essential step towards the goal of reducing fuel consumption to just 2.0-litres/100km. To achieve this, it combines the continuous improvements of the engine and the weight-saving available through the design of new platforms.
HYbrid Air, the facts
The specification for this technology set clear objectives: substantial reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, on all continents, by means of affordable technology which can be applied to vehicles and light commercial vehicles in the B and C segments.
In response to this, the HYbrid Air combines tried and tested technology: the new generation of 3- cylinder petrol engines and compressed air. Over eighty patents testify to the expertise mobilised for this important R&D (research and development) work.
Principle of operation
The HYbrid Air combines two energies to achieve the highest efficiency in various situations. So, the compressed air will assist, or even take the place of, the petrol engine during the phases which consume the most energy: acceleration and moving off.
This technology uses certain components new to the motor industry but widely tested in other sectors such as aeronautics. The HYbrid Air consists of:
- an energy tank, containing pressurised air, installed under the body in the central tunnel,
- a low pressure tank at the rear suspension crossmember, acting as an expansion bottle,
- a hydraulic unit consisting of a motor and a pump, installed under the bonnet on the transmission.
This latter consists of a EGC (Electronically Gearbox Control) epicyclic drivetrain to manage the distribution between the two motors. It replaces the mechanical gearbox and in addition offers automated gear changes.
The internal combustion engine is the latest generation 3-cylinder petrol engine. It benefits from the very latest technology: optimisation of the weight and compactness by means of maximum integration of the components, reduction of internal friction by means of the use of ‘Diamond Carbon’ coating, thermo-management, split-cooling for a faster warm-up, etc.
So, the HYbrid Air has the important advantage of being compatible with the existing platform benefitting occupant space, modularity and the volume of the petrol tank which remain unchanged.
Three modes: Air (ZEV), Petrol, and Combined
The driver controls the two energy sources to achieve the highest overall efficiency possible in the current situation. Switching between the three modes available is completely natural for the driver.
In the Air (ZEV) mode, only the energy contained in the compressed air will drive the vehicle. As it depressurises, 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 epicyclic drivetrain. As the internal combustion engine is switched off, the vehicle moves without consuming any fuel or emitting any CO2.
This mode comes into its own when driving in town.
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, friction reduced by 30% and advanced thermo-management to reach the optimum operating temperature 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 move the vehicle, in proportions adjusted according to the situation to achieve optimum fuel economy. Adaptable, the HYbrid Air can supply the hydraulic motor from two sources. While the quantity of energy contained in the pressurised air tank is sufficient to fulfil the driver's request, the hydraulic motor operates using this source. Then, if necessary, it can be supplied by the hydraulic pump directly.
This mode is intended in particular for the transitional phases in town and on the open road (moving off, acceleration).
The energy tank is filled in two ways. On deceleration (on braking or releasing the accelerator), the speed is reduced not by application of the pads to the brake discs but by the resistance to the compression of the air in this accumulator. The alternative consists of filling 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.
On the way to 2.0-litres/100km
The adaptability of the HYbrid Air allows it to offer numerous advantages. By using tried and tested components, its durability makes it suited to the wide range of road conditions encountered across the continents. Remarkably, this innovative technology has the potential to become the heart of the range as an international hybrid. Customers of vehicles and light commercial vehicles in segments B and C will experience:
- urban driving in Air (ZEV) mode up to 80% of the time, therefore with no fuel consumption,
- with a resulting 45% reduction in fuel consumption when driving in town,
- smooth driving due to the automation of the transmission,
- unchanged occupant space and modularity and unchanged fuel tank capacity,
- the peace of mind of tried and tested components.
On the current generation of B segment vehicles, the HYbrid Air considerably reduces consumption and CO2 emissions. In fact, following the homologation cycle test, the figures are 2.9-litres/100km and 69g/km.
The HYbrid Air is a key step towards the 2.0-litres/100km in association with other technological advances. In fact, this record fuel consumption will be achievable with the contribution of the innovations relating to the petrol engine and the platform. As regards the engine, the down-sizing strategy, the thermo-management, the combustion ... are important progress areas. The platform is the modular construction component at heart of the design and manufacture of a new model. The use of lightened materials and innovative industrial processes will permit significant reductions in weight.
An innovative R&D model
Such an ingenious idea cannot result from a conventional development programme. So, the HYbrid Air technology is the result of a project which mobilised 200 people on the same platform. The expertise represented, from the development of a drive train to the strategic vision and including customer surveys, worked closely with strategic suppliers, including Bosch.
Finally, the HYbrid Air was developed in financial partnership with the ‘Investing in the Future Programme’ of the Ademe, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.
Pierre-Yves Etienney \ +33(0) 762 629 891
Present in nearly 160 countries, with more than 10,000 points of contact, Peugeot combines rigorous design, appeal and passion in all its activities.
In 2012, the Marque achieved 1,700,000 sales worldwide, reinforced its position as the 4th marque in Europe, accelerated its internationalisation in the major growth markets and continued its range enhancement. Peugeot is reaffirming its environmental commitment by introducing diesel micro-hybridation and the powering of three HYbrid4 models using innovative full diesel hybrid technology.
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