Peugeot HYbrid3 Compressor Scooter

January 9, 2009
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Peugeot HYbrid3 Scooter
Making its debut at the Paris Motor Show the Peugeot HYbrid3 Compressor scooter attempts to meld the four- and two-wheeled world.

Another concept design attempts to bridge the gap of motorcycle and car, with Peugeot unveiling its HYbrid3 Compressor. Revealed late last year at the Paris Motor Show, the HYbrid3 borrows design features showcased on earlier scooter-ish designs: the leaning three-wheel configuration of the successful Piaggio MP3 and a rider-enclosed cockpit reminiscent of the BMW C1.

But the Peugeot is a different animal – it’s a hybrid.

Each wheel in the HYbrid3 sources a different power source, with the two fronts housing electric motors and the rear making use of a traditional internal combustion engine. The supercharged 125cc 4-stroke found in the Peugeot’s Satelis scooter produces a claimed 20 horsepower at the rear wheel. Lithium-ion battery power supplies the electric juice for the electric motors housed in the front wheels, which produce 3 kW (4 horsepower) apiece.

The front and rear powerplants are not mechanically connected, with electronics synchronizing the three independent units and offering three-wheel drive. The electronics turn off the gas engine at stops or during low-speed traffic situations and cycles the HYbrid between three different modes:

– Electric-only “when starting up, at low speed and when decelerating.” In this mode the HYbrid3 has a 10-kilometer range (6.2 miles).
– Gasoline-powered only “at a constant speed on the open road, when the engine attains its optimal efficiency.”
– Electric/gasoline combined power “during phases of acceleration for additional power.”

Peugeot HYbrid3 Scooter
The front end of the Hybrid3 features two wheels with electric motors.

In combined mode the supplemental accelerative boost of the electric motors bumps total power up to 29 horsepower. The claimed end result is a 125cc scooter that delivers acceleration performance “equivalent to what would have been possible with a single-cylinder 400cc engine.” (In this regard the HYbrid3 is similar to the Piaggio HyS hybrid scooter concept which debuted at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show and promised “about 85% extra performance” when the supplemental electric motor kicked in.)

Battery energy is recovered on deceleration, which improves the HYbrid3’s efficiency. In fact, the braking power from electric motor energy recovery also assists the three-disc ABS system to reduce braking distance “by around 30% compared to a two-wheel scooter equipped with traditional brakes.”

As far as fuel efficiency goes the 2 l/100 km claim equates to an impressive 117.6 mpg for us obstinate non-metricized Americans. The remarkable efficiency brings strong green credentials to the Peugot creation as well, with CO2 emissions of 47 g/km (EU objectives want to reach 120 CO2 g/km efficiency for new cars by 2012).

Peugeot HYbrid3 Scooter
The Peugeot HYbrid3 Compressor provides a protective canopy for rider and passenger.

The hybrid concept continues beyond the powertrain, with Peugot promising “this vehicle offers an ideal mix of the benefits of a scooter and particular characteristics of a car.”

The two-wheel front with “parallelogram type” suspension allows for scooter/motorcycle-like leaning performance and at 32-inch wide the HYbrid3 figures to retain the small size advantage motorcycles enjoy in urban settings.

The enclosed cockpit, formed by a front to rear windscreen canopy covering two aluminum roll bars, must deliver some of those “particular characteristics of a car.” The protection encases the entire rider and a passenger, the cockpit figuring to deliver shelter from the wind and rain.

It’s certainly an interesting concept, even if we’re just able to look from our Peugeot-less America. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for any developments.