Based on the race-proven 908 HDi LMP racer, the new Peugeot 908 HY adds electric power to the already potent mix in the form of an 80 HP gear-driven electric motor/generator that replaces the starter motor on the standard car. Juice is stored in 10 lithium-ion battery packs strategically placed in several locations to maximize weight distribution. Also squeezing out juice for the batteries is a KERS system that makes use of energy from the brakes. Altogether, the electric motor's 80 HP can be used for about 20 seconds every lap, employed at the driver's discretion.
The new system should definitely come in handy on the Circuit de la Sarthe for next year's 24 Hours of LeMans, as it can be used either as boost to supplement the 700 HP diesel V12, or to simply save fuel. The 908 HY can even be put in electric-only mode, perhaps for cruising down the pit lane. It should be noted, however, that the 2009 LeMans Series regulations aren't completely set in stone yet. So while the Frenchies may have already shown off the 908 HY in public this past weekend at Silverstone, there's a very slight possibility it may not be exactly like this if it makes it onto the grid next season. Let's hope the KERS system on this doesn't decide to strike back at its mechanics like certain F1 cars have.