Is Hyundai eyeing PSA’s compressed-air hybrid system? If you believe the scuttlebutt out of France, the answer is yes.
While PSA is heavily touting this new technology as a possible CO2 emissions savior, their technical partner Bosch has been much more cautious. Bosch cautioned that “…Unspecified technical challenges have yet to be overcome before a commercial launch…“, a statement which is at odds with PSA’s ambitious 2016 launch schedule for this technology.
One theory being floated by industry experts (off the record of course) is that this technology is akin to the Volt – a “green vehicle” enticement that PSA can use in the event that it needs to raise bailout funds. At the very least, it is a symbol of what PSA can be capable of.
Hyundai has bucked the trend of fully embracing EVs, with hydrogen being a central focus of its zero-emissions strategy. Even its hybrid lineup is relatively sparse. The compressed-air technology and any notion of technology sharing in itself would be out of character for the Hyundai of Toyota (as opposed to another era, when the cars were Fords and Mitsubishis), but stranger things have happened.