With so much focus on the various Japanese manufacturers that are establishing a lead in the green car race, not to mention the spotlight that has fallen on the American automakers as they bid to bounce back from the global recession, it seems that France's contributions to the automotive world have almost been forgotten.
However, if a recent report in the Nikkei is to be believed then that may all be about to change. The report suggests that Sanyo Electric Company has reached an agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroen to supply NiMH batteries for its diesel-electric hybrid cars, beginning in 2011.
The French manufacturer hopes to be the world's first to bring a diesel-electric hybrid to market and is the fifth automaker that Sanyo is expected to supply batteries to. Sanyo already supplies NiMH batteries to both Honda and Ford, and is expected to supply lithium-ion batteries to both the Toyota Motor Company and the Volkswagen Group.
As for its agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroen, Sanyo will ship batteries for tens of thousands of cars per year. They will be used in the Peugeot 3008 sports utility vehicle and the Citroen DS5 luxury car – both models are planned for 2011 and will use a diesel engine to power their front wheels and a motor to power the rear wheels.