By Chris Haak
Today in 2010, the environmentally-conscious crowd has split into two distinct sets of car-buying preferences. In one camp, the hybrid guys point to their extremely low emissions and fantastic city fuel economy numbers. Plus, the typical hybrid packs a ton of technology into a reasonably-affordable vehicle. Then in the other camp, we find the diesel guys, who claim that better highway mileage and less weight is the way to go, eschewing the complexity of two parallel drivetrains and the environmental cost of batteries that have a finite life. For years, the two camps were like oil and water – they just didn’t mix. There was no production car that combined an efficient clean diesel with a hybrid.
There’s a reason for this too – clean diesels and hybrids individually cost a few thousand dollars, saying nothing for combining the two (and presumably coming up with a powertrain that costs a few more thousand dollars. But now Peugeot’s gone and bucked convention. In about six weeks at the Paris Motor Show, Peugeot is planning to display the diesel-electric hybrid 3008 Hybrid4. This car, destined for series production, will be the first diesel-electric hybrid car on the market. We’re not counting locomotives in that statistic, of course.