Citroën Debuts Oddly Brilliant Hybrid Air Powertrain – Auto …

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Citroën Debuts Oddly Hybrid Air Powertrain, Production Coming [2013 Geneva Show]

February 19, 2013 at pm by Alexander Stoklosa | Photography by Urbano and The Manufacturer

Gasoline-electric have floundered near-dead in the of Europe, not least because of added expense or fuel-economy fails to better that of the diesel-powered cars that the Continent. But Citroën might a something on its hands that change Europeans perception of and it s—drum roll, please—a It s not just any hybrid, though—instead of an internal combustion engine an electric motor, Citroën s Air powertrain utilizes a hydraulic and a gas engine. The French automaker is the system in a chopped-up C3 hatchback at the Geneva auto show .

Although it sounds massively and exceedingly strange, Hybrid in fact, isn t very complex. s how it works: A planetary gearbox is between the gasoline engine and a motor. The hydraulic motor is by—you guessed it—a pump that s also under the C3 s small hood. As for powers the hydraulic pump, this is where the Air part of Air comes in.

The prototype C3 features a of tanks, one mounted longitudinally the middle of the car and another low-pressure sitting transversely behind the axle. The rear tank compressed air, which can be into the central tank or, appropriately, chamber, which is filled with hydraulic During acceleration, the air (which inflates a bladder within the tank) is released, forcing the through the hydraulic pump and the motor, driving the wheels.

Although Citroën doesn t there most likely is a tank where the hydraulic is stored after it cycles the motor.

Like most hybrids, the Citroën has a regenerative system to capture energy would normally be lost deceleration. Unlike gas-electric which recharge their via an electric motor/generator, the C3 s hydraulic when turned by the drive draws hydraulic fluid out of the tank and pumps it back the main tank. (Hydraulic are essentially pumps; simply its output to its input—in this the drive wheels—and it turns a pump.) As hydraulic fluid is into the chamber—the fluid is not displaced air in the system is compressed the rear tank where it is until needed again. A hydraulic-hybrid delivery truck up by UPS. the EPA, and several makers here in the U.S. similarly; during acceleration an powers a hydraulic pump turns two motors mounted in but on deceleration the motors turn the forcing fluid against a bladder and pressurizing it; later, the fluid is released back the system to drive the motors acceleration.

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Besides the unique method by the Citroën s gas-engine-augmenting hydraulic receives its energy, the relationship the motor and the engine is like in any gas-electric hybrid. This that at higher speeds, the gas does most of the motivation. At speeds (less than 43 or taking off from a stop, the punts accelerative duties to the motor, unless there isn t a amount of compressed air, at point the gas engine either over or aids the motor.


 The engine and hydraulic can each power the front individually, or combine forces to the C3, depending on what the car s computer necessary.

Citroën claims output from the Hybrid Air stands at 120 horsepower, and that the improves fuel economy by up to 45 in city driving. Factoring in a mix of driving, the automaker maintains Air is still good for a 35-percent in efficiency. The improvements are impressive, but not compared to, say, a Prius. is impressive is that Hybrid Air t require a plug or several pounds of batteries; the air tanks and gear certainly add weight, but not hundreds of pounds.

Plus, air tanks capacity t degrade over time batteries energy storage, and won t fluctuate with temperature either.

Perhaps more than Hybrid Air s inner is that Citroën plans to the technology in a production B-segment car by According to the automaker, the system can be scaled to power larger vehicles, as well. Without we look forward to testing new frontier in hybridization.

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