Skip to comments.Coming soon, the car that runs on air: Peugeot Citroen unveil new 117mpg hybrid
Posted on 01/23/2013 2:21:05 AM PST by rawhide
Peugeot Citroen invents technology for air car ready for the market by 2016 'Hybrid Air' engine system runs on petrol and air, instead of electricity Company predicts 'Hybrid Air' to achieve 117 miles per gallon by 2020 French car giant PSA Peugeot Citroen believes it can put an air- powered vehicle on the road by 2016.
Its scientists say it will knock 45 per cent off fuel bills for an average motorist. And when driving in towns and cities costs could be slashed by as much as 80 per cent because the car will be running on air for four-fifths of the time.
The system works by using a normal internal combustion engine, special hydraulics and an adapted gearbox along with compressed air cylinders that store and release energy. This enables it to run on petrol or air, or a combination of the two.
Air power would be used solely for city use, automatically activated below 43mph and available for 60 to 80 per cent of the time in city driving. By 2020, the cars could be achieving an average of 117 miles a gallon, the company predicts.
The air compression system can re-use all the energy normally lost when slowing down and braking. The motor and a pump are in the engine bay, fed by a compressed air tank underneath the car, running parallel to the exhaust.
The revolutionary new Hybrid Air engine system the first to combine petrol with compressed air is a breakthrough for hybrid cars because expensive batteries will no longer be needed.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Didn’t Lt. Columbo drive one those? There are “only three like it in the States”.
Didn’t Lt. Columbo drive one those? There are “only three like it in the States”.
Dear American recipient of hundreds of millions of taxpayer subsidies, your car is on fire and you’ve just gotten your ass kicked by the French.
U.S. Car Companies and Your Friendly Government have done a fine job keeping small, efficient diesels out of the US - and keeping Americans from knowing what they’re missing - but it’ll require some sneaky K-Street shenanigans to keep this one away.
Nevertheless, they will succeed. Don’t get your hopes up: If they can keep you from getting a Hilux or a Peugeot diesel, they’ll keep you from this one.
Wouldn’t it just be eaiser to put Al Gore in the trunk facing backwards?
Compressed air boost fed via regenerative braking is not new, it’s existed in commercial trucks for a while. Ford was doing some R&D on it a few years back in pickup trucks as I recall.
But, actually applying such a system to a passenger car and making it available to the public now is a major breakthrough, so congratulations are in order to Citroen. I’ve always admired Citroen, very innovative. They march to the beat of a different drummer. Their vision of “car” often isn’t at all like the American concept of a car, but when it works it’s something else.
Too bad they’re just a little too offbeat for the domestic market. I’d like to see them return.
Where’s the dryer?
There does seem to be a regulatory bias against small diesel trucks and vans. Very few have ever been available in the United States. What few there have been, have almost all been manufactured by Isuzu.
Those are tinker toys, not cars!!
I am constantly pulling objects like that out from between my big rigs duals. Throws the tire balance out of whack, thanfully the screams are very short lived as well.
Needs foot pedals as well.
I bet the metrosexuals will get all horny seeing these.
“Looks like something that escaped from the roach motel.”
I can see the resemblance to the Citroen 2CV.
Color me skeptical, at least as the car is described in this poorly-written article.
There is no way a gas/air hybrid can run on air 80% of the time in city driving with air compressed by slowing down and braking. By definition, the energy produced this way must be less than 50% of the total used by the car during its trip, and when you figure in the losses in the various stages of the process a great deal less. I’d be very surprised if it’s as much as 25% of the time.
To get to the 80% number even for short trips you’d have to charge the air tanks initially, similar to recharging batteries in the garage overnight. Doing so, of course, uses electricity which must be generated using coal, gas or some other method.
Also, compressing air and then using it to drive motors, while highly convenient, is wildly inefficient.
The process for an IC car is: fuel burns, drives wheels, car moves.
For an air car it’s something like: fuel burns, drives turbine which turns generator to produce electricity, juice transmitted (with losses) to garage, electricity runs motor to run air pump, which compresses air with BIG energy losses, air is stored till released to run a not particularly efficient air motor which turns wheels, car moves.
Two stage process versus minimum five-stage process. By definition energy is lost at each stage, some more than others.
How do they make the process adiabatic?
Okay. Looked it up and I’m not entirely right.
It is apparently possible to run such a hybrid with the fuel engine always operating at peak efficiency to either drive the vehicle or compress the air, then have it shut off when tanks are fully pressurized. A fuel engine operating always in its peak efficiency range is going to be much more efficient overall, so you are capturing energy efficiencies other than those associated with braking and slowing down.
I still suspect that by the time you run a complete analysis of energy used to travel 1000 miles it’s going to be tough to beat an efficient IC car by much, particularly the highly efficient diesels common in Europe but for unknown reasons not imported to here.
As anybody who has ever worked with compressed air knows, this process creates a LOT of waste heat. If they have found a way to use some of this heat it will help efficiencies considerably. The process also condenses a LOT of water out of the compressed air, which especially in humid climates will create some interesting challenges for the engineers.
That is an interesting study at the link you posted!
Clown car alert.
A little more here:
“No Hilux for me, thanks. I appreciate having the choice, but I’ll stick with my F150.”
Said nobody ever.
Great concept, if the car could only make it 117 miles without requiring a visit to the mechanic.
Not completely adiabatic, but you insulate the storage tanks and tubing.
But will the average motorist be able to afford one ??? Don't see any mention of the price but I'm guessing not...
Citroen and Renault.......
Two reason why the French are known for their wines.
Just remember to take along a air mattress hand pump for those long drives.
“...reuse all the energy lost when slowing down or breaking...” I don’t think so. There will be leaks. There well be friction. There will be heating of the fluid (air) during compression that then bleeds away... The real question is, even with all these losses, can they make the system more efficient than anelectrical regenerative braking system? Oh, being lighter, smaller, cheaper, safer, and longer lasting would be nice too.
Part of the headline, but no room for it here on FR.
[The process also condenses a LOT of water out of the compressed air...]
[...running parallel to the exhaust.]
Perhaps placing the compressed air tank next to a heated source solves that problem.
We're going to need a bigger car.
Don't worry. It's all vaporware anyway.
A true free lunch. The weight of batteries is eliminated. Exploding gas cylinders are a concern, but the tanks will probably be constructed from fiberglass. Fiberglass tanks puncture and burst, but they don't produce shrapnel, like metal tanks. Could be a great urban vehicle.
But don’t forget that the weight of batteries is eliminated. That’s a lot of weight. But yeah, the 117 mph claim is hard to believe.
All of my cars, since my ‘57 Chevy, ran on “petrol and air”.
But, they each weighed more and were less fragile than a 10oz. bag of chips.
Air is not a fuel. The car really runs on whatever fuel is used to power the compressor (coal, natural gas, nuclear, etc.) Air is not the fuel...it’s an energy storage system like a battery.
lol...my Ford Expedition sh*t one of these this morning...
This is what's left of a man's garage after he bumped into a scuba tank while parking. From the 1/5/2011 Fayetteville Observer...
"A scuba tank explosion in a west Fayetteville home injured a nationally known videographer and his wife, who is a photographer for The Fayetteville Observer. Rick Allen bumped into a cannister of compressed oxygen in the couple's garage around 11:30 p.m. Monday, knocking it to the ground. The explosion was so strong that it blew out a wall between the garage and a bathroom, where Allen's wife, Cindy Burnham, was brushing her teeth. Allen was in critical condition Tuesday at UNC Hospitals' Jaycee Burn Center, a spokesman said. Burnham was treated for facial cuts at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center and released.
Matt Blashfield, a neighbor on Partridge Court, was watching television at home when he heard an incredibly loud blast. "At first, I thought it was Fort Bragg," he said, "but a millisecond later, I said 'no way.' " Blashfield went to the scene where a garage door was blown into the yard, along with bumpers from the couple's vehicles. One of Allen's hands was severed by the blast, but he used a garden hose with his other hand to douse flames from the flash fire."
Bottom line, there's a helluva lot of explosive power in an air tank which requires just a puncture to release.
I assume they’ve accounted for the explosive energy associated with compressed air tanks, as well as the temperature changes associated with charging/venting air bottles and the requirement for periodic hydrostatic testing.
Wow!!! I’ve had an air compressor in my garage for the last 30 To think I could have blown up every time I emptied the tank. No more screwing around I’m calling the hydrostatic man now....
Said nobody ever.
How much plywood will this thing haul?
Also what is its maximum towing capacity?
From Truck Trend:
“...The Tacoma and Hilux are similar in a number of specifications, but there’s a considerable difference in the towing and payload capacities. The Tacoma has a higher maximum towing capacity at 6400 lb, but a mere 1415 lb payload. Meanwhile, a properly-equipped Aussie-spec Hilux can shoulder an impressive 3064 lb payload — nearly as much as the top-spec Ford F-150, which can carry up to 3120 lb.”
In any case, the point I am trying to make is that American consumers have not been given the CHOICE of owning a whole bucketful of phenomenal small diesels, like the Hilux diesel, that will goo 500,000 miles with jaw-dropping fuel efficiency. SKODA makes a diesel car for goodness sakes that is a FAR more reliable car than any Mercedes “Bluetec,” and drives just as well (almost.) And when you’re in one of the new little Peugeots, it’s the same leather-wrapped, tight ride you’d expect from a top of the line Japanese car... Except you’re getting 60+ miles per gallon.