January 7, 2006 Citroen will reveal its C4 Diesel Electric hybrid on the 31 January 2006, previewing a production car that the French car maker has committed to have on sale by 2010 in response to a call this week by French President Jacques Chirac for car makers to have such cars on sale at affordable prices within ten years. Citroen believes that the Diesel Electric hybrid is a much more effective method to reduce fuel consumption and emissions than petrol engined hybrids, pointing out that existing pure diesel powered cars such as the Citroen C4 HDi, already offer better fuel consumption and lower emissions than many petrol hybrids without the performance and cost penalties. A Diesel Electric hybrid, believes Citroen, is the only way to make a significant advance over the existing benefits of diesel powered vehicles.
The French car maker is also working hard on the next generation of low emission/fuel consumption technology with the opening of a new research centre for development of fuel cells at Carrieres-sous-Poissy, northwest of Paris on Monday 9 January 2006.
Citroën has a long term commitment to diesel, with its pioneering launches of common rail direct injection technology and as the first car maker to offer a diesel engine with a particulate filter. It has also pioneered electric cars with versions of the Berlingo and Saxo small car available in Europe in pure electric forms.
Citroën has developed and put into full production cars that use 'stop-start' technology with dual function alternator/starter motor that turns the engine off when not requited, such as when in traffic jams and while slowing down, only starting it again when it is required. This means an engine can be switched off - and therefore using no fuel at all and producing zero emissions - for up to 60 per cent of urban driving.