French car company Peugeot has unveiled an air powered hybrid car, the Hybrid Air Concept, with the goal to have the car on the road by 2016. The air engine has been in development for more than two years with over 100 leading scientists and engineers working on the air powered car in top secret conditions at Peugeot’s research and development center at Velizy, south of Paris.
The air engine 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 allows the car to run on gas or air or a combination of the two. Air power would be used below 43 mph. The air compresses and decompresses as the car speeds up and slows down. Peugeot predicts the cars could be achieving an average of 73 mpg by 2020.
What this air engine does is remove the electric engine component from hybrid vehicles. This eliminates the need for a large battery, which cuts down on cost, weight, and negative environmental impact. Plus, you will not get stranded looking for a charger on some back country road. While pure compressed air cars have been tried before, this is the first application of a gas-compressed air hybrid.
The system will be able to be installed on any normal Peugeot car without altering its external shape, size or trunk space if the spare is removed. From the exterior the air powered Peugeot will look identical to a conventional Peugeot.
Peugeot will be introducing the air powered engine in smaller models such as the model 208 to start.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison