Peugeot powers ahead with first diesel electric hybrid
PEUGEOT, a leader in diesel technology for decades, has upped the stakes in the hybrid market by launching the world's first diesel electric car ahead of the Japanese, the perceived leaders in the hybrid field. The twin powerpack will first be used in the 3008 model and will be launched here in December for 2012 sales.
In the new 3008 Hybrid4, French engineers have mated a 2-litre 163 bhp diesel engine with an electric motor which puts out 37 bhp. The engines can work in tandem or separately to give a return of 3.8L/100km in mixed driving, with C02 emissions down to 99g/km (Band A). This compares with 5.1L/100km and 135k/km C02 from the current 3008 diesel offering, which has a 1.6-litre engine in the Band B tax bracket.
The new model is expected to be about €6,000 over the the mid-range offering in the current 3008 model diesel but Peugeot points out that over a yearly average of 20,000km, you would fill the hybrid only 12.6 times compared to 17 times for the diesel, which equates to a saving of €22 on every 60-litre tank fill-up. This is equivalent to a saving at the pumps of €1,300 a year, which means that you recoup the extra outlay for the Hybrid4 in less than five years.
Peugeot rightly points out that the two models are not like with like -- the Hybrid4 has a 4WD mode, an expected three per cent higher resale value and has the all-important lower Band A road tax and the two power units create the 4WD which has a 200 bhp output compared with 155 bhp output in diesel-only model.
Emma Toner of Gowan Distributors, the importers, points also that the driving dynamics are not the same. "This is an eco choice vehicle for drivers who want an environmentally friendly performance in a revolutionary car."
Given that diesel engines are 30 per cent more fuel efficient than most petrol options currently on sale (this is about to change drastically) the new hybrid makes good sense. You can drive for 4km on battery power with zero emissions, which will help the urban environment; and in mixed driving, there is very smooth torque flow.
There are four driving modes available: automatic, zero emissions, sport and four-wheel drive. The diesel drives the front wheels and the electric motor is mounted on the rear axle. The power mix is controlled by computers to give the right balance -- the electric motor takes over in phases of lower power demands, starting up or driving at low speeds.
The 3008 Hybrid4 will have a high level of trim when it arrives here on December 1 and the price is expected to be in the region of €35,000 although there may be a second lower specification.
The price of the mid-range specification 3008 is €26,845.