While electric cars are considered environmentally friendly, the majority of them look like something out of a science fiction novel. On top of that there are major learning curves when owning them, such as locating the rare charging station or coping with being stranded by an empty tank. They are almost weird, requiring a certain acceptance of unfamiliar territory.
Earlier this week, French automaker Peugeot Citroen debuted a hybrid car that promises to bypass all of these issues. The Hybrid Air is a combination of a “gasoline internal combustion engine and compressed air storage” that claims to save up to 45% efficiency during city driving . Two air compression tanks are refilled by regenerative breaks that pump air back in as the car breaks or decelerates . There are three modes for driving: gasoline internal combustion, Zero Emission Vehicle, and combination, which are chosen automatically based on the driver’s needs and current speed. Below is Peugeot Citroen’s video of how the Hybrid Air works.
By utilizing both gasoline and compressed air, the possibility of becoming stranded due to an empty tank is virtually absent. There would still be the ease of locating a gasoline pump, but without the substantial blow to your wallet. And perhaps the most interesting aspect, Peugeot Citroen claims that this system can be installed in almost any personal vehicle . Will this mean you can have your Mercedes and your reusable bags, too? We sure hope it does.
The Hybrid Air is due to hit European markets in 2016.