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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Diesel Hybrid Cars Poised for Growth in Europe

The near future sounds cleaner for Europe, as researchers from Frost & Sullivan have come up with the conclusion that diesel hybridization is the key of meeting 2020 targets of 95g/km of CO2 emissions.

The study highlights the fact that, despite of higher initial costs, diesel hybrid vehicles bring better performance, lower CO2 emissions and improved fuel efficiency.
This way, CO2 fleet average of cars in the European Union will also be reduced.

“European car manufacturers have adopted different strategies to reduce PM and NOx emissions, and one of those adopted is engine downsizing,” stated Bharath Kumar Srinivasan, Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. “However, downsizing a diesel engine will result in higher NOx emissions.”

World’s first series produced diesel-hybrid was just introduced by Peugeot in the form of the 3008 Hybrid4 with 200 bhp and CO2 emission as low as 99 g/km.

The diesel powertrain produces a power output of 163 bhp and the electric motor generates an additional 37 bhp. Both powertrains are capable of running independently, which means it can run in the all-electric mode within cities and thus being a zero-emission vehicle.

However, the higher costs of the technologies involved in a diesel hybrid, like the Hybrid4 technology, have been a key limitation to the launch of diesel hybrids. This could mean that attractive packaging should come into play.

“PSA has managed to combine the best of technologies into a single package,” Srinivasan explains.

One solution would be automotive alliances between producers with a strong diesel portfolio, such as Fiat, PSA, Renault, Volkswagen. This would lower the development costs and provide for a better deployment of vehicles.

Take, for example, PSA's cooperation with BMW for hybrid components and the BMW-Daimler-GM joint development of the two-mode hybrid.

The researchers also highlight the idea that the demand for diesel hybrids is set to grow to more than 300,000 units only by 2016-17.

Diesel Hybrid Cars Poised for Growth in Europe

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