Peugeot 207 EPURE concept car
13th September, 2006
At the Paris Motor Show later this month Peugeot will reveal the “207 EPURE” concept car – a glimpse of a future 207 model with a futuristic power plant.
In 1998 at the Geneva Motor Show, the concept-car for the Peugeot 206 CC, the 20♥, was presented for the first time. It marked a new chapter in “open top” motoring and, with the launch of the 206 CC in January 2001, “open top” motoring was changed forever thanks to Peugeot.
The fascia panel is covered entirely with white leather, as is most of the passenger compartment: the detailing, the trim on all four seats, and even the steering column controls under the steering wheel. Touches of “absinthe green”, as used for the interior floor carpet, are subtly interspersed throughout the passenger compartment, particularly in the form of discreet highlighting on the fascia panel, the door panels, the rear of the front seats and the head restraints.
The instrument panel provides all necessary information for monitoring the battery charge level and the quantity of stored hydrogen onboard, while the colour multi function display mounted in the centre console displays the flow of power between the electric motor, the battery and the fuel cell.
From the purity of its colour with the only emissions being water, the “207 EPURE” not only protects the environment but will also ensure the pleasure of Peugeot “open top” motoring remains for many years to come.
The spirit of freedom inherent in this design is therefore closely bound up with the car’s method of propulsion: the ensuing benefits – zero emissions, silent operation – which does much to enhance the pleasure of driving the car as a cabriolet.
Both driver and car are then truly at one with their environment. Pleasure and ecology are united.
The strategy of Peugeot
In a global context where the need to consume less energy and reduce CO2 emissions is paramount, the PSA group is continuing its technological research into clean and economical vehicles. In addition to work on improving the efficiency of internal combustion engines, particularly with HDi engines, the ability of the Group’s engines to run on fuels that incorporate biofuels, the invention of the DPFS (diesel particulate filter system) and research into HDi Hybrids, PSA is also studying “future technologies”.
For example, the hydrogen fuel cell could represent a high-potential energy source for the future.
The advantages of the fuel cell for the environment are many:
This technology, however, still has to overcome a number of technical and economic challenges before large-scale production can be envisaged. PSA has therefore adopted a research strategy which aims to explore different solutions. This work has therefore given rise to the production of a succession of demonstrators.
The Peugeot Quark, a handsome and futuristic 2-seater quad, illustrates numerous innovations through its compact size. For example, the fuel cell is cooled by air and hydrogen is stored in a single “plug & drive” cylinder at a pressure of 700 bar (which increases the vehicle’s range compared to a pressure of 350 bar). Instead of a single electric motor, the Quark has four electric motors located in each of its wheels.
Continuing this research, the Group, in partnership with the AEC (Atomic Energy Commission), is working currently on a new design of compact fuel cell that will make it possible to improve electrical power output, energy efficiency and packaging: the GENEPAC (GENérateur Electrique à Pile A Combustible), or fuel cell electricity generator.
This technology is present today in the 207 EPURE.
Fuel cell technology
Operating principle of the fuel cell electric propulsion system
To operate, a fuel cell needs hydrogen and oxygen. Oxygen is drawn from the air, while hydrogen is stored on the vehicle. The combining of these two elements provides an electrochemical reaction that causes a displacement of electrons and protons which simultaneously produces heat, water, and above all electricity.
The 207 EPURE, like previous demonstrators, uses the fuel cell as a source of on-board electrical energy (increasing the maximum distance the vehicle can travel - “range extender”). It powers the electric motor (propulsion system) directly as well as helping to recharge the batteries.
Technological content of the 207 EPURE: the "GENEPAC 20"
For the first time on a demonstrator, the 207 EPURE uses a GENEPAC fuel cell. Combining simplicity and modularity, this French designed cell has been designed to be compact in installation and efficient in use.
The principle of this new cell, featuring PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell) technology, is based on the use of thin, stamped stainless-steel plates, which reduce the cost and volume of the cell compared to traditional plates.
This system also allows for simple gauging of the cell’s power. For example, the cell used on this demonstrator, called the “GENEPAC 20”, is a 20 kW version of the GENEPAC system.
The, “GENEPAC 20” consists of two modules each with a stack of thin plates and an assembly of electrode membranes. This fuel cell system therefore offers a level of efficiency in excess of 50% versus 25 to 30% for an internal combustion engine.
Five cylinders containing 3 kg of hydrogen compressed to 700 bar provides the electric motor and the “lithium-Ion” battery with as much extra power and range as possible. They are located at the bottom of the vehicle’s boot, which frees up the two rear seats, does not affect the operation of the retractable roof mechanism and leaves part of the boot available for use in the coupé position.
Use of an electric motor allows the “207 EPURE” to consume energy only when in motion and to save energy during phases of deceleration. It also makes this demonstrator silent, an important quality for a vehicle driven in town and highly beneficial during use as a cabriolet.
The PAC technologies give the “207 EPURE” demonstrator a considerable range (around 350 km) while offering a pleasing level of performance with a maximum speed of 130 km/h.
Helping to preserve pure air by emitting only water, this 207 of the future is therefore well suited to urban and semi-urban use... For “pure sensations”, original and purposeful!