When people talk about more fuel-efficient cars, they normally focus on hybrid technology, electric vehicles, and maybe hydrogen fuel cells. But a few automakers have toyed with the idea of running a vehicle on compressed air, and now European automaker Peugeot Citroen claims they could have something on the market by 2016.
The Hybrid Air vehicle would use a combination of compressed air and a gasoline engine to provide up to 50 minutes of driving without using any gas, and provide a 35% fuel savings. Eventually, the company hopes to produce a car that can achieve its 100km/117 miles per gallon benchmark.
The company showed off the technology during its Innovation Day event at the company’s Automotive Design Network R&D center in France. The powertrain stores energy in the form of compressed air, and can operate in air-only, gas-only, and combined modes. The air mode kicks in at speed below 70 kph, the company claims that in urban driving scenarios the vehicle would run on air 80% of the time.
We showed you an example of air power on a smaller scale with Toyota’s KU:RIN speeder, but Peugeot is tackling the consumer market.
You can see a more detailed view in the video below: