The unique Hybrid Air powertrain that PSA Peugeot Citroen showed during the 2014 Paris Motor Show will temporarily be shelved as the company tries to improve its financial standing. Its inventor, Karim Mokkadem, also discreetly left the company around late September to join a technology investment fund.
The technology itself was partially-funded and green-lighted by the French government as early as 2011 in order to achieve the target of having a vehicle that has an average fuel consumption of only 50km/ l. The reason for the impasse according to Peugeot came from internal and external elements.
The company needed to share the bill for development with another manufacturer but not one car manufacturer was interested in it. Even though the French automaker had already found a suitable shareholder with Chinese automaker Dongfeng, it was still uncertain whether the technology was actually pushing through, causing another problem in its development and production.
The next set of problems the company faced were funding and competition. Had the project been sponsored by former boss Philippe Varin instead of Carlos Tavares, the company wouldn't have to face the problem of investing an estimated EUR 500 million in order for Hybrid Air to be commercialized, according to the French automaker. They also added that other hybrid powertrains currently being offered by other automakers have also made it difficult for the company to continue on with Hybrid Air.
In theory, PSA stated in the end that if Hybrid Air actually went into production and had been sold commercially, the new powertrain would have been able to 'theoretically' power city cars, sedans and other utility vehicles in emerging countries.
Source: LesEchos France