Giving a progress report of the Group’s activities in Brazil at an event in Rio de Janeiro, Jean-Martin Folz, Chairman of the Managing Board of PSA Peugeot Citroën, said that the group will introduce a diesel-hybrid prototype early in 2006.
Folz, in keeping with remarks he made at the Frankfurt IAA (earlier post), re-emphasized that, from the point of view of a real reduction in fuel consumption, only diesel-hybrids make sense as non-hybrid diesels can deliver comparable fuel economy to gasoline-hybrids at lower cost.
The company is making no committment to actually producing the diesel hybrid prototype.
“We will unveil the prototype to show that this technology is possible, but we don’t know if we will make cars with it. We do not yet know if there are buyers prepared to pay more to save fuel,” Folz added. (just-auto)
Folz also outlined the Group’s accelerating biofuels activities in the Brazilian market.
In 2005, its Porto Real plant began producing 1.6-liter flex-fuel engines exclusively for the Brazilian market. These have been available on the Peugeot 206 since April and on the Citroën C3 since November. At the end of 2006, Porto Real will launch a 1.4-liter flex-fuel engine to equip the Peugeot 206 sedan and 206 SW, as well as the Citroën C3.
That 1.4-liter engine will gradually be extended to other vehicles from the two marques in the same range. Brought from the drawing board to the factory floor in less than a year, these flex-fuel engines grew out of technological development conducted primarily in Brazil.
PSA Peugeot Citroën is also testing a B30 (30% soy biodiesel, 70% petroleum diesel) blend in Xsara Picasso and Peugeot 206 models. The two vehicles have already covered some 160,000 kilometers. A second stage of the experiment, planned for early 2006, calls for the use of biodiesel from other oil seeds.
The company is also fully financing a €10 million (US$11.7 million) reforestration project in the Brazilian Amazon as a carbon sink for CO2. The project, which began in 1999, was created to study the relationship between reforestation, sequestration of atmospheric carbon and climate regulation through the development of a living, large-scale prototype over a 40-year period.
In October, Ford and PSA Peugeot Citroën announced the fourth phase of their diesel engine co-operation with the launch of two new families of efficient engines for their light commercial vehicle (LCV) and executive car lines. (Earlier post.)