Saturday, December 26, 2009

Peugeot Previews 908 HDi Diesel – Electric Hybrid at Le Mans

At the final round of the 2008 Le Mans Series at Silverstone on Saturday, September 13, Peugeot Sport presented an electric-hybrid version of its 908 HDi FAP diesel race car equipped with a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) similar to the one that’s being developed for Formula 1 cars. The 908HY was presented in a new silver-grey livery giving us a foretaste of what Peugeot’s next endurance racer could look like although its use will depend on the regulations that will govern LMP 1 cars from 2009.

The system comprises three key elements: a 60 kW gear-driven electric motor generator that replace the conventional starter motor, a set of 600 lithium-ion cells divided into 10 battery packs and an electronic power converter controlling the flow of energy between the batteries and the motor-generator. The 908 HDi HY can be powered in three different modes including electric-only when in pit-lane, only with the 5.5 liter V12 700 HP diesel engine or a combination of the two

The technology enables a proportion of the kinetic energy produced under braking to be recovered or stored enabling the vehicle’s efficiency to be improved in one of two ways: by enhancing performance thanks to an additional boost of 80 HP for approximately 20 sec per lap with no increase in the amount of energy consumed or, by reducing fuel consumption between 3 and five 5 percent for the same level of performance, thanks to the availability of stored mechanical energy.

“This hybrid 908 HDi FAP is in perfect keeping with the overall mission of our endurance racing programme which covers not only the challenge of competing, of course, but also the fact that as a car manufacturer we can use motor sport as a research and development tool for the Peugeot brand as a whole,” commented Peugeot Sport’s Director, Michel Barge.

“After innovating through the use of our HDi FAP technology in competition, running a hybrid car in endurance racing would give Peugeot a chance to gain extremely valuable experience that would benefit the development of production cars. Whether we use this technology or not in 2009 will obviously depend on the details of the new regulations published by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest,” he added.

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