Peugeot's Turbocharged Hybrids

The French carmaker aims to put diesel hybrids on the road by 2010. If it can bring the cost down, they could prove popular, especially in Europe

Imagine a car that gets 82 miles a gallon -- doubling the average fuel efficiency of the green-automotive market leader Toyota Prius. French auto maker PSA Peugeot-Citroen believes it can deliver such a car by 2010 with hybrid diesel engines that will join two fuel-efficient technologies. "That's the future. It combines the best of both worlds," says Thomas Sedran, partner at Munich consultancy Roland Berger.

But diesel cars may also start to gain traction in the U.S. market starting later this year as oil companies are forced by federal law to convert to "clean diesel" fuel that reduces harmful sulfur emissions. Europe has long mandated clean diesel at pumps. Luxury giant DaimlerChrysler and Europe's largest auto maker, Volkswagen, are leading the charge in the U.S. market with fuel-efficient, clean diesel cars. So if diesel hybrids take off in Europe, American car buyers may not be far behind.

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