Peugeot have launched what they believe to be a new concept in endurance car racing. The 908 HDI FAP Hybrid embraces modern environmental and energy conservation concerns by having three seperate power sources. Like the KERS system currently being developed in F1, the Peugeot ‘HY’ technology stores a proportion of the energy produced by braking and then can be used as a power boost or a means of conserving power.
The new car features a 60kw gear driven electric motor generator in the place of the traditional starter motor. Energy is stored by 600 lithium-ion cells divided into ten battery packs. Six of these are placed in the cockpit in place of the battery and the remaining four are placed on the floor pan. Finally, an electric power converter controls the flow of energy between the batteries and motor-generator.
Peugeot believe that in the course of a full laps of the Le Mans circuit, the system will retain energy for between 20-30 seconds. The car can use this saved energy in one of two ways, either used as an 80bhp power boost, or can be used to reduce fuel consumption thanks to the mechanical energy saved.
Obviously, the technology used by the 908 HDI FAP will be developed further for Peugeots road cars, but is also especially useful in endurance racing and may be used for the 2009 season. However, all the teams in the Le Mans championship are currently waiting for the Automobile Club de l’Ouest to release the regulations for next season.