8 January 2004

PSA Peugeot Citroën has announced plans to develop ultra-clean hybrid diesel-electric technology that could eventually be offered in family hatchbacks such as the Peugeot 307 and Citroën’s Xsara replacement, the C4.

The proposed hybrid powertrain has a carbon dioxide emissions target of just 89.5g/km over the combined cycle, compared with 120g/km for the current cleanest 307, the 1.4Hdi.

The £3 million Efficient-C project is being funded by the Government’s Ultra-Low Carbon Vehicle Challenge. The first 18 months will be spent developing a hybrid powertrain, mating a 90bhp common-rail diesel engine to a direct-current electric motor and an automated manual transmission in a Citroën Berlingo Multispace.

A stop/start function for the diesel engine and all-electric power at low speeds will conserve fuel in town, while the motor-generator will recharge under braking. Energy will be stored in a bank of nickel-metal hydride or lithium-ion batteries.

PSA has teamed up with automotive consultancy Ricardo UK Ltd and technology experts from QinetiQ.

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They want the car to be drivable as well as clean and are forecasting a 0-62mph time of less than 13.0sec and a top speed of over 90mph.

PSA already has experience of electric vehicles, such as the now-defunct 106 Electric (pictured). Electric Citroën vans are still on sale.

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