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PSA Peugeot Citroën Unveils 69MPG Diesel Hybrid Prototypes

31 January 2006

One of the pair: the C4 diesel hybrid.

As promised, PSA Peugeot Citroën unveiled two prototypes featuring diesel-electric parallel hybrid powertrains, the Peugeot 307 and the Citroën C4 Hybride HDi.

The hybrids deliver average combined city and highway fuel consumption of 3.4 liters per 100 kilometers (69 mpg US), with 90 grams of CO2 emitted per kilometer—a tank-to-wheel record for compact cars, the most popular segment in Europe. This is about 25% better than a similar vehicle equipped with a gasoline hybrid system, or as much as a liter per 100 kilometers in combined city and highway driving.

Hybrid technology using a petrol engine is not very competitive financially, and does not offer significantly better fuel economy or CO2 emission performance than a conventional HDi diesel engine. However, PSA Peugeot Citroën believes that combining a hybrid powertrain with an HDi engine would constitute a step change in terms of improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions in Europe, where diesel engines are already widely used.

—PSA Peugeot Citroën statement

PSA Peugeot Citroën’s Hybrid HDi technology includes:

  • 1.6-liter HDi engine and diesel particulate filter system (DPFS)
  • New-generation Stop & Start system (earlier post)
  • Electric motor and inverter
  • High-voltage battery pack
  • Dedicated control electronics
  • All-electric mode for speeds under 50 kilometers an hour (31 mph)
  • Driver selection of Extended ZEV (Zero Emission Vehicle, i.e., all-electric) mode
  • Electronically-managed gearbox
PSA Peugeot Citroën Parallel Hybrid Architecture. Click to enlarge.

The engine. The prototype marks the first combination of the 1.6-liter, 66 kW HDi engine with the latest generation Stop & Start system. The company added a dedicated control system to the engine, using operating instructions coordinated directly by the powertrain management unit (PTMU), most notably for engine starts and stops, while also guaranteeing delivery of the torque required by the driver.

The engine, with the diesel particulate filter system (DPFS), meets Euro-4 standards.

Stop & Start system. The Stop & Start system used in the Hybride HDi powertrain is based on the technology integrated in both the Citroën C2 and C3. The new system has 40% more power than the first generation to support the easier starting of the 1.6-liter diesel.

In the hybrid powertrain, the Stop & Start system restarts the ICE. While the Stop & Start function is only used on the C3 when the vehicle is stationary, the engine stop function can occur at any given moment on the Hybride HDi, as soon as the vehicle’s speed falls below 60 kilometers an hour (37 mph).

Electric motor and inverter, The synchronous permanent magnet electric motor develops 16 kW of continuous power, with 80 Nm of torque. It offers peak power of 23 kW and 130 Nm to meet occasional demand from the driver.

PSA Peugeot Citroën opted for the volume and performance of the motor to ensure that the all-electric mode would be used for speeds up to 50 kilometers per hour—a speed typical of city driving.

Connected to the inverter, the motor operates in a voltage range from 210 to 380 volts. In the restricted space available, this electric motor/inverter does not enable use of the conventional engine cooling circuit, whose typical temperature is too high. Water cooling is therefore provided by a special radiator and a low-temperature cooling circuit at 60°C.

For main road and highway driving, the electric motor can provide a 35% power boost for extra acceleration.

Battery system. The battery pack consists of 240 NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) cells that deliver 23 kW of power at a nominal voltage of 288 volts. The cells are cooled by special air intakes that recover air from the passenger compartment, taking advantage of its temperature control.

There is also a conventional 12V storage battery, which continues to handle its usual functions.

The high-voltage battery pack fits in the rear part of the Group’s platform 2 vehicles (base for the Peugeot 307 and Citroën C4) in place of the spare tire, following a slight modification to the cut-out in this compartment. Adding the batteries does not reduce trunk capacity for any of the vehicles.

All-electric mode: Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV). The driver can use a special switch to access an extended all-electric mode that expands the operating range for the vehicle in this mode. In this case, the ICE is only activated for more prolonged acceleration.

The extended all-electric mode is de-activated either automatically, when the high-voltage battery pack no longer has a sufficient charge, or manually, by using the dedicated switch.

Economics and Future. PSA Peugeot Citroën says that while it could market its Hybride HDi vehicles as early as 2010, the introduction is dependent upon its ability to make the technology available at an affordable price.

Today, the price gap between a Hybride HDi model and a comparable diesel HDi model is still too wide and would have to be halved to make diesel hybrid vehicles accessible to most consumers.

The Group is planning a two-pronged approach to reach that goal:

  • Extensive R&D on the four areas that generate most of the extra cost: high-voltage batteries, electric motor/generator, inverter and the regenerative braking system.

  • Unite the expertise of equipment manufacturers and research laboratories to focus on this project.

PSA Peugeot Citroën has asked the French Agency for Industrial Innovation to support the project.

Comparing Fuel Consumption and CO2
Vehicle Conventional C4/307 Hybride HDi % Difference
Engine 1.6-liter, 80kW 1.6-liter, 66kW -17.5%
Acceleration 0–100km/h 12.4 sec 12.4 sec
Acceleration 30–60 km/h 5.8 sec 3.5 sec -40%
Fuel consumption combined cycle 4.7 l/100km 3.4 l/100km -28%
CO2 emissions combined cycle 125 g/km 90 g/km -28%
Fuel consumption city cycle 5.4 l/100km 3.0 l/100km -44%
CO2 emissions city cycle 145 g/km 80 g/km -45%

January 31, 2006 in Diesel, Hybrids | Permalink | Comments (47) | TrackBack (0)


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This is a great idea, but the real question is will any vehicle like this ever be allowed in the US?

With its extended electric (only) mode operation with the on-board 16 Kw NiMH battery pack and 70 mpg average, this car could be called a very near-PHEV. Switching to a more compact, more powerful Lithium-Ion battery pack and a smaller ICE range extender, it could become a terific PHEV with 100++ mpg. Renault/Nissan and Mitsubishi will also have similar vehicles on the market by 2008/2010. The Big 3 will have to join in to survive. Renault is already in North American with its affiliation with Nissan. Mitsubishi has been here for a while. Ford could also produce a similar car by 2010 if they really want to do it. The next 3 to 4 years will be interesting to see.

I appreciate the honesty of Peugeot for admitting the price gap for the hybrid is still too high. I think the asian hybids play games with their marketing to disguise this. If you are cheap like me, you realise it is less expensive to drive the base model and get 40mpg than it is to get the hyrid. Of course, the hybrid has more features, but that is where the marketing comes into play. Some people say they would rather pay for technology than fuel, and I am inclined to agree, but only to a point.

But I think this car is very interesting, especially for people who do a lot of city driving. I calculating the city mileage at 80mpg, which going by the combined cycle would make you think the freeway would be around 60mpg. I would guess this is about the same as what the non-hybrid version gets, so not much gain there. I wonder why the highway mileage isn't posted? Oversight?

Hopefully this technology will get cheaper. Maybe not all of it is necessary. Beyond the battery, motor, braking and controls maybe the other stuff is fluff. Is the robotized gearbox essential, or the stop start feature?


A very promising concept, all in all. The 12V battery and separate start/stop system seem like vestigal components of earlier models. Perhaps they can integrate those functionalities (start/stop, accessory drives) with the main electric motor/batteries, reducing complexity and costs.

The slow, luxurious ride into extinction?
Some scientists are actually panicking that global warming, soon, cannot be reversed.
All the hi tech stuff, lulls us into believing we can stop it. "we" can't. The energy infastructure will force us to suck every drop of oil and piece of coal out of the ground.
But don't panick, just when the end is near, the Government will announce a massive world-wide project to suck the Co2 out of the air and put it back into the ground!(as a couple of coal fired power plants are doing this already)
On third tought,we just should of kept the sh*t in the ground to begin with.

But don't worry, the are solutions to global warming to be sold to us, but keeping all of us on the squirrel wheel of work to afford it.
The rich get richer, while the worker bees continue to get high smelling new car interiors.
Sorry for the cynical outlook, but if human beings will continue to blindly follow their beliefs, the need for instant grafication without concern, the extinction of life will follow within a century.
Any society counts on a few gifted human beings to properly lead us into a bright future for us and generations to follow. Unforunately, they have not been elected yet.

I am delighted to see this car. It is the first attempt at a hybrid diesel car which is the best of Europe (diesel) and Japan (hybrid). Lets hope they build and sell some sooner than 2010. The boys might be a bit pessimistic with battery technology - if you could put a Lithim battery into it (+ plug in capability[easy]) you would have a winner. This seems ot be a very active area at present.
It took Toyota 2 tries that I know of to get it right, so the way forward is to bring one out and see what happens when reasonable numbers of people start to use the car.
I would buy one now, if I could, if it was not more than 15% more than the diesel.

How hard is it to add plug in capability to a hybrid (espec. if you do not increase the battery size) ?

Tony, you're an idiot. Not even a useful one.

As have been stated above, a plug- in capability would be excellent, and it shouldn't be hard to implement, should it?

One more thing. What range would this car have in the all electric mode if you travel at 50 km/h?

Yes, this is all well... But PSA does not have anything to sell yet, and neither has any other european car manufacturer.

And I will definately NOT be an early customer of european hybrids before they have at least 3 to 4 years on the back.

Toyota and Honda on the other hand has years of real life experience already, and are also known for good reliability.

Go get a Prius! You can get one today! :)

Turbo-charged BioDiesel Hybrids - The only right way to go.

Ever wonder why do so called bio-diesel proponents always look to some mininmal blend like B2, B5, or B20?

The answer is because diesel requires 25% more oil per gallon produced than gasoline. So a gallon of B20, has a similar amount of oil in it as a gallon of gasoline.

Some diesels get theoretically better EPA mileage, but some do not. We all know the EPA numbers are BS as well and will be changed dramatically when the EPA introduces their new methodology due out for the 2008 model year. For instance, Consumer Reports found that the diesel Jeep Liberty with an EPA listed 22 mpg really got 11 mpg in their real world testing.

If you really want to promote bio-diesel...then push for B100 instead of using the generic bio-diesel term. It's the only way that consumers are offered the choice to pursue energy independence. Anything less and folks are just kidding themselves that they are making a difference.

Further more...aqueous phase reforming of corn can produce hydrogen twice as efficiently as corn can be turned into ethanol. Since a fuel cell vehicle will get 2-3 times the mileage of a ethanol vehicle...this means you get a 6 fold improvement in energy efficiency out of your biomass. If you don't want to wait for fuel cells though...that's fine too. Hydrogen ICE can operate about 50% more efficient than an ethanol vehicle. Since aqueous phase reforming is twice as efficient at turning biomass into hydrogen as biomass can be turned into ethanol...this still gives you a 2.5 fold improvement in energy efficiency...and it's available today. Many companies are retro-fitting existing cars with hydrogen...and big auto is even starting to come out with hydrogen ICE. Mazda is bringing out a duel fueled hydrogen/gasoline version of the RX-8 in limited quantities this year followed by a dual fueled hydrogen/gasoline Premacy mini-van in 2008. Beyond the efficiency...the complete lack of C02 and pollution during vehicle operation are huge benefits to society.

To see an example of how hydrogen can operate more efficiently than ethanol in an internal combustion engine...just check out the figures on the tri-fuel Ford V10 Super Chief. Details here:

Holy crap....this same uninformed diesel basher has mastered the copy/paste function to plaster yet another story with his absurdity. Are you getting paid by someone to do this? Do you think if you restate the same thing frequently enough that people will start to believe it?

WHERE are you getting this 50% greater efficiency of hydrogen ICEs? Combustion efficiency is pretty high with gas/diesel engines already. Granted, hydrogen would be higher, but that doesn't account for 50%. The various frictional, mechanical, and thermal energy losses account for MOST of the inefficiencies of an ICE anyway.

Let me ask you this - would you be willing to refill your hydrogen ICE every 150 miles?

PSA does not sell any cars in the US and for a very good reason. French Automobile is not a by-word for quality automobiles. The German Audi A2 already gets 3.8l/100km so the 3.6 of this vehicle is not a big step forward.

The problem with getting Diesels into the US has been that our air-pollution regs are unfriendly to automotive diesels and that our fuel supply has been too high in sulfur. The later problem will be solved next year.

DC is attacking the former problem with new technologies and is promising more Diesel models in the coming years.

The Peugeot C4 is a much larger car than the Audi A2. The A2 3L was a complete flop and was canceled more than a year ago. It won't get a replacement. This is a huge step forward from the A2. I don't know how you can compare the two.

French cars is not that bad any longer, believe me.

A plug-in feature cost 100$??
When are the carmakers going to show a PHEV? I think by getting that feature on this vehicle along with a better battery technology, i.e. Li-Ion, this could be a killer if they can get a decent pricetag.

Since the A2 and Lupo already achieved better mileage using nearly 10 year old technology, I am not very impressed.
@Robert Schwartz:
If I remember well, the Audi A2 managed 3.2 l/100 km combined, according to EU norms. The same technology was used on a Volkswagen Lupo to achieve an astonishing 2.99 l/100 km.

Don't kid yourself. The Audi A2 is small on the outside, but quite roomy on the inside, a bit like the Mercedes A class or the Tardis. I would say the C4 is 'a bit' larger than the A2 if you look at usable space.

Forget about plug-in hybrids. I have a Prius, and on battery only you can go about 2-3 km's. Yes, that is not a typo! I expect the Peugeot to be not much better, since it incorporates a similarily sized NiMH battery pack.

Why is the range so short? There are two main reasons. Firstly, the battery pack must be optimized for high currents, at the sacrifice of capacity. Secondly, NiMH does not like deep discharge. You must avoid draining it to not reduce life expectancy too much. You certainly don't want to change the battery every 50.000 km or so (€€€€/$$$). In my opinion, current NiMH battery technology is not usable for plug-in hybrids (or fully electric cars). We will have to wait for Lithium Ion to become affordable.

Did you supply the correct e-mail? Go visit ;-)

The TARDIS! I love it! :^) Haven't heard anyone drop the TARDIS into conversation in a very long time.

LOL well you can never please some people. I have to give PSA credit for making the first diesel electric hybrid in a family car. It looks very ready for production and thats a good thing. As for the comparison with the A2... well they both have 4 wheels and a 2 headlamps. Thats about it. You don't know what you are talking about anne.

The diesel Audi A2 gets 78 mpg. That is 3.0 litres per 100 km. The VW Lupo is practically the same care minus luxury and niceness for 60 % of the price of the Audi A2. It also gets 78 mpg (and this is US mpg, not Imperial MPG)

Turbo-Diesel-Hybrid Car – If not the French then someone else will make one. As long as the mark-up isn’t like the other hybrids on the market I’ll buy one. Why spend more for a hybrid when a high mileage diesel will do the job just fine? Let’s face it, if everyone was driving a hybrid in the USA we still wouldn’t be energy independent. We sell more cars in the U.S. every year so whatever whittle drop in Oil demand does occur by driving hybrids WILL NOT LAST VERY LONG. And who is going to pay for our country to go solar and then into H2 production? Current solar cell production in the USA is only something maybe like 30MV a year and nearly all of that is being shipped to Europe!

The price of technology to drop an 8mpg tank to 15 might mean hitting the engine block with a hammer in a certain way. 15-40 is injection. 40-100 is turbo-diesel and hybrids. And then what?
At the end of the day the law of diminishing returns will hit car designers in the face. Getting that extra 4-5 mpg will mean the difference between a $30,000 car and a $40,000 one. I know this is not a particularly constructive point. :)
What I'm getting at is why not look at technologies aroun the engine?
Seldom do I see a post mentioning lightening the chassis and internals in some way. As in, what happened to all those exotic alloys and structural catacomb designs showcased in the nineties promising us the world for the future of automobiles? Surely somebody has been putting their life into developing means for making these alloys economically feasable. If something as inexpensive as mild steel with the strength of Titanium was realised then people could drive around in 800kg SUVs and not feel that their masculinity has been somehow robbed or that they are 'unsafe' in traffic.
I know existing hybrids use light materials. But they use traditional light materials, which are either not that much lighter, or that cost an arm and a leg.

Less is more. Cut weight with composites, smaller frontal area and lower drag coefficient yield 330 mpg. Grid tie plug in HEVs running on hydrogen spiked biodiesel for long trips, solar/wind power for short ones. Cheaper batteries are coming. This is a tsunami of electricity swelling up to roll over Detroit, unless they wake from their sleep.

By the way, good ideas take 40 years (a generation) to take hold. We don't have that much time. The solution is the problem: plug in hybrids and battery electric vehicles are disruptive to the careers and incomes of gas station owners, mechanics, auto factory workers, and all the people who sell things to them. Ford should convert some of their closed factories to training the auto workers in producing electric vehicles. But they won't.

Any reason why Ford is not willing to retrain auto workers? Could it be that auto workers themselves have not shown interest in picking up new skills?

I have driven a Citroen Xantia HDI. Old technology, bought in 1999 and it is great. 2.0 HDI diesel engine. I get more than 1000 kms from a tankfull (more than 600 miles)while driving at 150 kms/hour with 5 people and the AC on as needed (of course in Europe). Nothing comparable in the US now. Who says that French cars are bad. I wish you could buy something equivalent (including the hydroneumatic suspension)here. Needs oil changes every 20.000 kms.

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