Peugeot's Innovative Compressed Air Hybrid Actually Coming to Market
The race to save fuel is creating something of a new competition to find the most unique methods of propelling an automobile. We’ve seen all manner of drivetrain combinations, including gas-electric, full electric, even diesel-hybrid. But this is one of the more unique concepts– a car that runs on compressed air. Peugeot is hard at work on a new powertrain system, and it is more than just vaporware. In this system compressed air would run a hydraulic motor, and would use a small gas engine as a backup. It can run on air, gas or a combination of the two. Power is put to the road via a specially adapted gearbox, routed to the front wheels. RELATED: See Photos of the 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid
The obvious advantage is the improved efficiency, which Peugeot claims can reduce your gas bill by 80%, but there are other advantages. Because of how the energy is stored, it can be released in a large burst for short term performance, or over a longer period of time. Also, the containers will last a long time and there is a far lesser amount of toxic chemicals produced.
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But it’s not all rosy. Because of the high-pressure, the tank tends to release more air when it is fully charged. Peugeot is hard at work on a solution, and they are serious about this design. They will be employing this system in the near future in the Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3, and it is claimed that they will cost less than a hybrid.
PHOTOS: See Photos of the 2014 Peugeot 208 GTi