Peugeot and Citroen have been hawking their own versions of Mitsubishi’s i-Miev electric city car for a while now, and it’s hard to imagine who might have bought either of them. Priced at £28,155 even after the government’s plug-in grant, the egg-shaped Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn have been asking for a couple of thousand pounds more than the £25,990 Nissan Leaf — which happens to be a bigger and faster car, boasting a longer range and offering a generally better feeling of money wisely spent.
So it’s no surprise to see the French duo lopping big chunks off their prices. Both brands today announced a price cut of around £7,000, bringing their four-seat electric cars down to a more realistic £21,216.
Both can also be had for a monthly lease price of £249 over a three-year term, which adds up to just £8,694. That’s substantially more attractive than the previous arrangement of £498 per month over four years, which totted up to a not-very-persuasive £23,904, after which you had to give the car back and ponder the big hole in your bank balance.
No doubt the two French firms, which are in reality the same bigger French firm, have been spurred into action by the imminent arrival of the Zoe electric car from their arch rival Renault. The Zoe ZE will cost from £13,650 plus £70 per month battery rental. A lot less, in other words.
To go with their lower but still optimistically high prices, Peugeot and Citroen have announced expanded dealer support. A total of 21 Citroen service centres are now equipped to fiddle with the C-Zero, up from just 11, while technicians at 23 Peugeot dealers have been similarly trained not to electrocute themselves while spannering under an iOn.
The dealer expansion has been driven by the need to service new Hybrid4 models, which feature a 37bhp rear-drive electric motor in tandem with a 163bhp front-wheel-drive diesel engine. Citroen has its quirky DS5 Hybrid4 luxury hatch, while Peugeot offers a hybrid version of its 3008 crossover vehicle which will imminently be joined by Hybrid4 editions of its 508 saloon and 508 RXH softroader.
Speaking of which, Peugeot has announced prices for the two new 508 hybrids. Both offer a total of 200bhp and four-paw power from their diesel-electric underpinnings, so neither will be what you’d call a slouch. The saloon will hit 62mph in nine seconds dead, while the taller estate will take just half a second longer.
The sober-suited 508 Hybrid4 saloon will cost from £31,450 and boasts a CO2 rating of just 95g/km, making it a low-tax company car that can also slip unobtrusively in and out of the London congestion zone. The jacked up 508 RXH — a Gallic riposte to the Audi Allroad — will cost £33,695 and scores a still respectable 107g/km.
Both models are available to order today, with the 508 RXH due in May and the hybrid saloon following on in July.