PSA, Bosch team on hybrids

  • 11-Jan-2009 04:42 EST

PSA's diesel-hybrid technology for future models of both its brands include: 1) electric motor driving rear wheels; 2) high-voltage battery pack; 3) powertrain management unit; 4) power electronics, inverter, and converter; 5) high-voltage stop-start; 6) electrically controlled six-speed robotized manual gearbox; and 7) 2.0-L HDi engine driving front wheels.

PSA Peugeot Citroën is continuing its diesel-hybrid development program in a strategic partnership with Bosch. The companies have signed an agreement under which Bosch will co-develop, industrialize, and supply systems and components for PSA Peugeot Citroën’s upcoming diesel-hybrid powertrain, notably for the all-wheel-drive (front wheels powered by the diesel engine, rear by an electric motor) versions.

The Peugeot Prologue and Citroën Hypnos all-wheel-drive concept cars seen at the 2008 Paris Motor Show were both fitted with the technology. The concepts presage models from both brands slated to enter series production for MY2011 that will share the diesel-hybrid system.

PSA has made no secret of its belief in diesel rather than gasoline hybrids—despite the system being expensive to produce—and had announced that its Peugeot 308 model would be equipped with it. However, following the loss of some French state funding, PSA decided that it would only offer the system on the more upmarket versions of the model. So the technology is scheduled to be introduced initially on the production versions of the Peugeot Prologue 308 crossover in all-wheel-drive form.

A central focus of PSA Peugeot Citroën’s environmental strategy to develop and industrialize diesel-hybrid technology presents particular challenges, not the least of which is driving down unit costs, particularly important—and difficult—for a non-premium sector manufacturer. But choosing a core partner is allowing PSA Peugeot Citroën to move toward the early market introduction of hybrid-diesel vehicles in Europe.

PSA Peugeot Citroën usually sources its components from various suppliers, but Bosch is to supply several for the diesel-hybrid system. These include the rear electric motor, the front-mounted high-voltage alternator, and the power electronics that will control them. Bosch will also deliver, to PSA Peugeot Citroën specifications, the interface between the electric and electronic components, ABS system, and ESP (electronic stability program). Its technology will also enhance energy recovery.

PSA stated that the collaboration between the partners’ engineering and design teams would optimize the hybrid powertrain’s operation "while speeding the acquisition of mutual expertise in this area," which it expects to expand rapidly in the next few years.

The company believes its collaboration with Bosch is the right approach for bringing to market quickly and cost-effectively technological innovations that can significantly lower CO2 emissions. PSA Peugeot Citroën also hopes that the agreement will strengthen the European hybrid technology industry, which remains relatively modest.

In Europe, there is some caution about the benefits of gasoline-hybrid technology and concern about the likely cost of diesel hybrids, although the latter’s fuel consumption and emissions potential are far superior.

Bosch regards its latest program of close cooperation with PSA Peugeot Citroën as offering a highly promising opportunity to develop jointly an innovative, powerful, and competitive hybrid system. The electronics company’s hybrid technology experience stretches back over some 30 years, embracing battery, electrical drive, and brake management areas, together with engine management systems. The company has revealed that about 370 associates within the Group are now involved in the PSA project.

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