By on March 8, 2013

Last month, we suggested that PSA’s new compressed air hybrid system was a good way for PSA to drum up some investment into its ailing new car business. Now comes word that PSA wants to talk to other car makers, including alliance partner General Motors, about pooling the R&D cost of the new tech.

Given that PSA spent an estimated $4 billion on R&D in 2011, the $650 million cost to develop the new technology is a relatively modest sum. Yet PSA is still looking for a partner (or partners) to help bear the burden. PSA is looking to get cars using the technology, dubbed HybridAir, on the road by 2016, a very short timeframe for a new technology, especially one as radical as this.

PSA is also looking for a partner for the technology in China. Meanwhile, GM issued a statement claiming that the new hybrid system “is not part of the alliance discussions”. Bosch, which has assisted PSA with the initial development of HybridAir, previously warned of “unspecified technical challenges” with the system, throwing further doubt on the viability of the technology as a real automotive solution. Evidently, it doesn’t seem to be doing much to bring some badly needed money in either.

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7 Comments on “PSA Wants GM To Pitch In On Compressed Air Hybrid...”

  • avatar

    Using air to be storage medium in air tanks is far better than using Li-ion, Ni-cad or lead in a battery to store energy.
    But not sure how heavy is the parasitic loss.
    Sometimes the idea is good but the technology will take yrs to get there.
    No need to compare tubes to transistors. Simply look at transistors there is a great leap forward from Selenium to Silicon Transistor.
    And the space savings from single trans to IC aka integrated circuit.
    An IC can have hundreds of trans built inside one case.
    Look at the CPU nowadays, it has hundreds of legs.
    Circuit boards with multiple layers, a friend told me he has to design one with 8 layers!
    In the old days a high powered amplifier were pretty expensive, nowadays they can make them small and cheap.
    A little MP3 or Ipod is so small for a music source. Infact is not much bigger than a cartridge on a record player from the yesteryears.
    What black ninyl was now it can be as big as a SD card for music storage.

    • 0 avatar

      The simple fact is that “batteries” are no replacement for tried & true hydraulics and mechanisms. Thing is, energy has to come from somewhere.

    • 0 avatar

      “Circuit boards with multiple layers, a friend told me he has to design one with 8 layers!”

      Not sure where you’ve been, but boards have been designed with well over 16 or more layers for at least 15 years. Some can get pretty crazy.

      As for using air as a storage medium, I don’t agree. The explosive potential energy of compressed air is much higher than a battery. At is worst, a battery may burst into flames, but a compressed air tank exploding is a bomb with shrapnel.

      Another serious challenge is that air-powered cars sound like fart machines:

      • 0 avatar


        Compressed AIR is no where near as dangerous as a gas tank. There is far more energy in a regular gas tank than there is in an air canister. If an air cannister bursts, most likely it won’t burst at the seams, it will burst at the joint between the tank and the nozzle/nipple.

        Simple fact: storing energy in any form is inherently dangerous.

        • 0 avatar

          “Simple fact: storing energy in any form is inherently dangerous.”

          Diesel ain’t too bad, but then again some people theorize that diesel causes bad effects by not being very volatile at typical outdoor temperatures and sticking around too long.

  • avatar

    “unspecified technical challenges” with the system…

    It would be interesting to know what they are. If it’s an open system, moisture may be an issue (especially at freezing temps). Size of the tank(s) required may also be an issue.

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