Peugeot diesel electric hybrid on sale by year end

Peugeot’s new 3008 Hybrid4 is the world’s first full diesel electric hybrid. And it will be launched here in Ireland in December, targeting January 2012 sales.

This is a ground-breaking car that introduces a combination of the very popular diesel engine and electric power and delivers a real breakthrough in technology and driving performance.

Peugeot tells us that full prices and specifications for the new diesel hybrid will be announced later this month.

Hybrid4 technology offers low fuel consumption and CO2, and the progressive French carmaker says that’s without compromising driving enjoyment. With four driving modes on offer (Auto, Zero Emission Vehicle, Sport, and 4WD ), a 2.0 HDi FAP 163 bhp diesel engine drives the front wheels and is matched to a 37bhp electric motor on the rear axle.

The sophisticated Power Train Management Unit activates the electric motor and the diesel engine in a balanced manner.

The electric motor takes over in phases of lower power demands, particularly when starting up or driving at low speeds and decelerating (energy regeneration ).

The combination of both power plants offers four-wheel drive capabilities, a maximum output of 200bhp and impressive average fuel consumption of 74.3 mpg (3.8 litres / 100km ) with just 99 g/km CO2. These consumption figures represent a decrease of 35 per cent compared to an internal combustion engine with a similar power output.

You should note that in higher specification versions with larger wheels, emissions are 104 or 108 g/km of CO2 in the combined cycle, but unless we see the lower CO2 fall in the next budget, that shouldn't influence costs.

The 3008 Hybrid4 is equipped with an electronically-controlled six-speed Ecomatique gearbox and the latest Stop and Start technology. With each gear change, the break in torque delivery is compensated for by the electric motor, to result in smoother gear changes, and reduced fuel consumption.

George Harbourne, Peugeot’s managing director told the Advertiser, “Electric cars have been somewhat of a headline grabber in recent times, with the Government target of 10 per cent electric vehicles by 2020. Whilst Peugeot, a world-leader in electric cars, is well-placed to maximise this opportunity with the arrival of the Peugeot iOn, one has to question if electric cars are currently as ecologically friendly as they should be in an Irish context.

As Ireland’s energy policy evolves and we increase renewable energy production from wind, wave and solar power, the electricity needed for recharging vehicles will become more carbon neutral. However, at present, the Government energy target of 40 per cent electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020 means 60 per cent of electric cars in 2020 will still be powered from traditional coal and turf energy sources that emit high CO2 levels.”

He continued, “It is my belief that diesel electric hybrid technology is a more practical, mid-term solution, requiring no change to infrastructure and offering real and immediate gains in the reduction of consumption and CO2 emissions. I strongly feel that if the Government is serious about reducing CO2 emissions, then they need to focus on the mid-term future and give hybrids the same vehicle road tax relief as plug-in electric vehicles.”

Because this is the first diesel hybrid to go on sale, there are a few questions worth answering. First of all, Peugeot say that the service interval of a 3008 Hybrid4 is the same as a 3008 2.0 HDi - ie 30,000 km in normal use. Therefore maintenance of the 3008 Hybrid4 should not be any more expensive than a conventional Peugeot 3008.

In addition, the high-voltage batteries require no maintenance and have a service life equivalent to that of the vehicle. And the batteries have a guarantee for five years, as does the hybrid power train system.

The electric range offers up to 4 km from a standing start or up to 280 km with a full tank of diesel on a 900 km journey in Auto Mode. And the diesel engine is stopped for two-thirds of the time in the city and for one-third of the time on main roads. That is an on average, depending on driving style.

Following the 3008 Hybrid4 launch, Peugeot will introduce the 508 RXH and 508 saloon diesel electric hybrid in 2012, aiming to sell 35,000 diesel hybrids across the three models per year.

Peugeot expects strong demand in Ireland for the 3008 Hybrid4 and sales are expected to reach up to 100 units in 2012. The crucial factor of price and also specification will be key in determining this. We will know these later this month for the Irish market.

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