Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4: World’s First Production Diesel Hybrid

By Jonathan Spira on 6 September 2010
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Peugeot has unveiled the world’s first production hybrid diesel-electric passenger car, the Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4.  The 3008 is a “crossover of a different kind” according to Peugeot.  It incorporates elements of an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), an SUV, and a luxury vehicle, as well as elements of a truly fuel-efficient vehicle.

Since diesel engines are inherently more fuel efficient than petrol engines, they are an ideal candidate for hybridization.  Until now, car manufacturers have been reluctant to introduce a diesel hybrid because of the fact that diesels are more costly to make than their petrol-powered equivalent and hybridization adds yet another layer of cost.

Enter Peugeot.

Peugeot wasn’t satisfied with just creating the first diesel hybrid.  The 3008 HYbrid4 is also the first through-the-road (TtR) hybrid.  The company’s engineers developed a unique drivetrain layout that supports four-wheel drive.  The engine is located in its usual position under the hood and drives the front wheels.  The electric motor, however, is located under the floor near the rear axel and powers the rear wheels.

Most hybrid vehicles, such as a Toyota Prius, use a power-split parallel hybrid system. This means that the power that drives the wheels of one axle is mechanically split between the engine and the electric motor and transferred through a single transmission based on what the car’s computer determines is the most efficient method based on current conditions.

The complexity of this kind of system is one reason that hybrids are more expensive than their less green counterparts.  Peugeot’s TtR system is not only less complex but it’s significantly less expensive as well.

Click here to continue to Page 2 for complete details on the 3008 HYbrid4’s engine.

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