by Lem Bingley
PSA Group, parent company of Peugeot, Citroen and DS brands, is planning an electric car splurge that will see the arrival of seven plug-in hybrid models and four battery EVs between 2019 and 2021.
The freshly revealed Peugeot 3008 crossover (pictured above) is likely to be one of the earliest to go on sale, with a plug-in edition expected two years after the model arrives in petrol and diesel form.
The four pure EVs set to be launched under the new plan will all fit into either the supermini-sized B segment that includes cars like the Peugeot 208, Citroen C3 and DS 3, or the mid-sized C segment that includes 308, C4 Cactus and DS 4 models as well as the new 3008.
The BEV models will all be built using the Electric Common Modular Platform (e-CMP) that PSA has been developing in partnership with Chinese manufacturer Dongfeng Motors over the past year. All of the main electrical components for PSA vehicles are due to be made in France, however.
PSA is aiming to deliver cars with as much as 450km (280 mile) range between recharges, using a 50kWh battery mounted beneath the front and rear seats. The front-drive electric motor will be rated at 85kW (115bhp) and energy saving technologies such as a heat-pump cabin heater will be employed to help eke out range on batteries.
The seven new plug-in hybrid models are likely to be larger vehicles, fitting into either the C-segment or the D-segment, perhaps powering the next generation of DS 5 and C4 Picasso. The plug-in cars will be based on PSA’s larger second-generation Efficient Modular Platform (EMP2) and are set to use French-built engines. The Trémery plant in north eastern France will become capable of building petrol, diesel and electric powertrains, the company has said.
The hybrid design will use either a single motor or a two-motor layout. The more basic design will integrate an 80kW (110bhp) electric motor into an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the motor sitting between the combustion engine and the gearbox, all in a transverse front-wheel-drive layout.
The more complex two motor hybrid arrangement will be used for more upmarket cars, delivering four-wheel-drive. Here, the layout described above will be supplemented by a second 80kW motor driving the back axle. The front motor will presumably be used when needed as a generator, sending power to the back axle when the battery is depleted, to maintain 4x4 capability.
The two types of plug-in hybrid will use either a 12kWh or 13kWh battery, located under the seating to avoid any loss of luggage space, and will provide up to 60km (37 miles) of electric range.
PSA Group’s fresh commitment marks a significant new policy for the group, which has previously shown only muted enthusiasm for electric propulsion. While Peugeot and Citroen have both offered battery EVs, in the shape of the iOn (above) and C-Zero respectively, these were little more than rebadged versions of the Mitsubishi i-Miev, a car first put on sale in 2009. The state of the art in electric cars has moved on considerably in the intervening years.
Non-plug-in hybrid versions have been made available of the DS 5 executive car, Peugeot 508 saloon and the outgoing 3008 people carrier (below). All have used variations of the same Hybrid4 system, which employs an electric rear axle to supplement an otherwise front-wheel-drive diesel car. These hybrids are not cheap and have garnered patchy reviews, resulting in limited sales. The combined tally of Hybrid4 cars in the UK amounts to only around 3,700 vehicles.
The new crossover style 3008, meanwhile, should prove more popular than the somewhat dumpy looking people carrier it replaces. The new car is longer than the outgoing model with more interior space, yet is around 100kg lighter due to use of higher-strength steels in its construction.
The new 3008 will also be offered with two innovative new optional extras: an electric kick scooter or an electrically assisted folding pedal cycle. Either of these “last mile” offerings can be docked in the boot, where they will recharge while the car’s engine is running.
Petrol models of the 3008 will include a 1.2-litre PureTech 130 option fitted with stop-start, rated at 115g/km, and a stop-start diesel BlueHDI model rated at 100g/km.
Prices will be announced at the Paris motor show in September before the new 3008 goes on sale in November, with the first deliveries expected in January 2017.
Electric charge: Peugeot, Citroen and DS hatch new plug-in plans (updated)
24 May 2016
by Lem Bingley