I’ve been thinking for a long time that it made sense somebody built a diesel hybrid, not only gasoline-powered, like the ones existing today. That is because diesel engines have advanced pretty fast in the last 10 years and now feature both torque and decreased fuel consumption.
Let alone the fact that present day diesels also have particulate filters, which make them clean enough for any country, at least in my opinion.
It’s Peugeot, not Toyota, nor Honda breaking the ice this time, by building a diesel hybrid: the Peugeot 3008 Hybrid4. The car’s specs are impressive as they are practical: a 163 horsepower 2.0-liter inline diesel engine moving the front wheels, and a 37 hp electric motor driving the rear wheels, which gives Peugeot a lot of freedom in choosing the models that will feature this kind of hybridization.
I’m saying that because all the equipment dedicated to running the electric motor is located behind and only communicates through a digital network with the main computer.
The torque figures are also impressive: 300 Nm for the diesel (big enough), and as if it wasn’t enough, the electric motor also has 200 Nm, which makes up 500 Nm for an amount of time limited to the discharge of the Ni-MH battery. With that kind of torque you’d beat most of the BMWs wanting to race you at stop lights, anytime. And, remember, it’s a hybrid (aka TtR hybrid).
The Peugeot 3008 features smart controlling of its power resources and drive modes. It can allow 4×4 for as long as the rear-wheel powering battery holds, pure electric drive and a Start-Stop mode. And regenerative braking… of course.
HDi engines have been reputable among European diesels for quite a while, so that choosing one to equip the world’s first diesel hybrid is not something totally unexpected. The car is both powerful and environment-friendly, and doesn’t differentiate much between the two when it comes to hard acceleration or slow city driving. The CO2 output is of only 99 grams per kilometer (just a little more than the Prius).
To top off the list of features, Peugeot will eventually change the nickel-metal hydride batteries to lithium ion, and add plug-in capabilities, which can play a role in eventual V2G-type power networks and much reduced fuel consumption.
Seeing all the advantages diesel hybrids give, I wonder why Toyota or Honda refused making them when they first had the chance…