PSA Shelves Hybrid Air Project While Awaiting New Partners

PSA/Peugot-Citroën is putting its Hybrid Air project on hold, though the company said the move is only temporary until new partnerships are formed.

Since announcing the project two years ago, both engineers and project leader Karim Mokaddem have left PSA, though a representative remarked that this is because the development phase was complete.

“We have no plans to cancel the project,” a PSA representative told Automotive News Europe in an interview. “We are now waiting for another partner to help us begin the production stage.”

The French State, Bosch and Faurecia were listed as original partners for Hybrid Air. In order to move the technology into production and make it market-ready, PSA said it needs additional partners to share in the project’s cost of 500 million euros ($562 million).

Similar to a gasoline-electric hybrid, the powertrain behind PSA’s Hybrid Air starts with an internal combustion engine. Instead of linking with an electric motor, though, the engine pairs with a system that uses compressed air as a form of energy. This compressed air can be used as the vehicle’s sole energy source until it reaches 70 kilometers per hour (43 mph). While driving, the system automatically shifts between three different driving modes: zero-emission compressed air, gasoline power, or a combination of the two.

PSA Hybrid Air powertrain.

PSA Hybrid Air powertrain.

According to PSA, Hybrid Air saves “45-percent [fuel consumption] in city driving, offering a 90-percent increase in range in comparison with conventional engines.” The company estimates that the air system would be used during 80-percent of urban driving.

Citroën C4 Cactus AIRFLOW 2L concept.

Citroën C4 Cactus AIRFLOW 2L concept.

SEE ALSO: Citroën Also Goes For Hybrid Air Power

Last year Citroën featured a Hybrid Air powertrain in its concept car, the C4 Cactus AIRFLOW 2L, but hasn’t announced further plans for the prototype. The current C4 Cactus is available with a PureTech VTi naturally-aspirated 1.2-liter engine, a turbocharged PureTech e-THP 110 engine or a BlueHDi 100 diesel engine.

Automotive News Europe