PSA/Peugeot Citroen will continue developing its Hybrid Air technology to reduce fuel use in spite of different French reports in the press claiming that the project will almost definitely not be materialized.
A PSA spokesperson stated for Automotive News Europe that the group is not planning to cancel the project whatsoever.
PSA unveiled for the first time its Hybrid Air Project in 2013 and it was developed with help from the German supplier, Robert Bosch. The system uses compressed air as an energy source for powering cars as PSA previously said that it is planning to launch by 2016 hybrid cars partially powered by compressed air.
After PSA did not manage to find an automaker partner to share costs of around 500 million Euros necessary to bring this type of technology onto the market, the French press reported that hybrid air will not become a reality.
It also announced that Karim Mokaddem, the project’s leader, left PSA in September 2014 to join a technology investment fund.
The spokeswoman from PSA said that Mokaddem’s departure was indeed planned after the development phase of the project had been completed. She did confirm that the hybrid air team which was made of 180 engineers had been reduced and that they were waiting for another partner to help PSA start the production step.
The technology could reduce passenger car fuel consumption up to 45% in the cities. The hybrid air technology uses a vehicle’s engine and brakes as to compress air which is then stored in pressure accumulators. The system makes it possible for the car to be driven conventionally, hydraulically or by a combination of these two.
By Gabriela Florea