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PSA Peugeot Citroën unveils rechargeable fuel cell hybrid demonstrator vehicle

PSA Peugeot Citroën is unveiling an electric vehicle demonstrator equipped with rechargeable fuel cell technology for hybrids, at an event to showcase hydrogen as a fuel source.

The hybrid fuel cell vehicle is on display at the ‘Toute la lumière sur l’hydrogène énergie’ show, taking place December 7–11 in Lyon, France.

This fully electric vehicle, based on a Peugeot 307 coupe cabriolet, features the latest advances in fuel cell, battery and hydrogen storage technology. The EV demonstrator’s hydrogen fuel cell range extender gives it a driving range of 500 km (310 miles), close to that offered by a conventional vehicle with an internal combustion engine.

The FiSyPAC fuel cell reliability project, initiated in 2006, primarily focused on designing high-performance, high-efficiency components. Significant advances were made through collaboration with French research laboratories, such as the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) for the PEM fuel cell stack, and manufacturing partners, such as JCS for the lithium-ion batteries.

As a result, the Peugeot 307 CC FiSyPAC demonstrator ranks among the world’s top performers, needing less than 1 kg of hydrogen per 100 km. PSA Peugeot Citroën has also successfully quadrupled the fuel cell’s lifespan and increased its efficiency by nearly 20% since 2006.

Even so, these advances still face a number of roadblocks, including the cost of the fuel cell system and the lithium ion batteries, the fuel cell lifespan, and the deployment of the necessary infrastructure to market hydrogen to the general public. Given this situation, process engineering and mass marketing is anticipated in the 2020–2025 timeframe.

This fundamental research work on fuel cells for hybrid vehicles is helping PSA Peugeot Citroën make significant progress in hydrogen technology. The automaker is also increasing its understanding of alternative powertrains, including hybrid, rechargeable hybrid, and electric configurations.

This knowledge will be applied to various projects currently being developed at PSA Peugeot Citroën, chief among them the Peugeot Ion and Citroën C-Zero EVs to be introduced in late 2010, the Peugeot 3008 and Citroën DS5 diesel hybrids scheduled for roll-out in 2011, and the rechargeable diesel hybrid slated for 2012.

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