Driving the Peugeot e-208, an EV ready to convince
Together with the ICE versions of the new 208, Peugeot launches immediately a pure electric version. In regular use, the e-208 tries not to differ too much from its ‘normal’ brothers, even not in cost. Peugeot wants its clients to choose the powertrain.
Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of the Peugeot brand, sees it like this. “I believe in the power of choice. Lately, we are evolving into an industry, led by regulations. We don’t like that. We want an industry led by the consumer’s choice. The consumer chooses when to make the energy transition.
No dedicated platform
Certain manufacturers prefer a dedicated platform for their electric vehicles. Volkswagen is the highlight here, with the brand new MEB platform to be spread all over the group, and even offered to other manufacturers.
PSA, the group where Peugeot belongs to, goes for another strategy. Its common modular platform (CMP) for smaller cars is the so-called multi-energy platform. That means that both pure electrical drivetrains and internal combustion engines fit in it.
The most significant benefit is that all cars can be assembled on the same line, independent of their drivetrain. But there is also another motivation behind it. Peugeot wants its electric vehicles to be as close as possible to conventional ICE cars in everyday use. To them, it’s the only way to convince people to make the transition as quickly as possible.
Although Peugeot had to store a 50 kW battery pack in the floor of the new B-segment car, they managed to keep the internal space at the same level. The passengers have the same room; with 311 liters the booth is of the same size as that of the ICE car.
With an electric motor of 100 kW/136 hp and weighing 250 kg more than its ICE version, the e-208 can be quick. The driver can choose between three driving modes: eco, normal, and sport. In the first mode, 60 kW are available, 80 kW is normal, sport mode delivers the full 100 kW and a healthy 260 Nm of torque.
Ik makes the e-208 quick off the mark and very smoothly taking part in modern traffic. It’s also ready to get all electronic driving aids the normal new 208 can have (standard or as an option). They’re trickling down from larger and more expensive cars, like the Peugeot 508.
Peugeot’s 20… something range started with the famous 205 in 1983 and has already been sold more than 22 million times ever since. The little car has always emphasized nimbleness and driving pleasure. That’s also the case of the e-208.
The car is lively, delivers a good comfort feel, and drives easily. The so-called i-cockpit is not for everybody, though. We didn’t like the (too) small steering wheel, meant to be out of the way when overlooking the instrument panel.
The latter is entirely virtual and 3D, offering different layers of info in the function of their importance. Of course, the new small Peugeot also offers the connectivity its younger buyers – the target group – will surely appreciate.
Until now the price of an electric car (heavily influenced by the battery) was much higher compared to a comparable ICE car. That’s changing now. When you aren’t considering the price tag alone, but the total cost of ownership (TCO), Peugeot promises the same for a comparably equipped 208. VW does the same with its new EV, ID.3.
Peugeot claims it can do this because of the similarity of a lot of parts of the nicely designed 208, and because the price of batteries is diminishing.
That brings us to the ease of use when recharging. The battery pack can be recharged at a standard socket or an alternating current wall box or public charge point up to 7,4 kW or (optionally) 11 kW per hour. Fast charging in direct current (up to 100 kW) provides an 80% full battery in 30 minutes. The claimed range before recharging is 340 km according to the WLTP cycle.
With a price tag of 32.400 euros (in Belgium) in base trim but already well equipped, the e-208 has plenty of arguments to seduce the customer. Peugeot hopes to sell 10% of its new 208 as an EV. Their research, nevertheless, shows that 40% of the existing 208 clientele could easily shift to EV. The choice is theirs.