At the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show, one pleasant surprise was Peugeot, and not because of the futuristic light show on the giant Lion guarding the entrance.
The pleasant surprise was for what the light show symbolized. The whole stand was dedicated to the electrification of the Peugeot brand. Their best-selling model, the 208, did get a major refresh, and contrary to Renault hiding the new Zoe while presenting the new Clio, Peugeot showed the fully electric e-208 as the most important version of the new model.
With the expectation that the e-208 will be 15% of Peugeot’s B-segment 208 sales, this is a 30,000 to 40,000 newbie in the European fully electric car (BEV) space. The SUV version e-2008, not yet presented in Geneva, will follow with a comparable number of expected sales.
This is an impressive entrance from a carmaker that was not very active in the electric car market. In Paris, Peugeot surprised the world with the e-Legend concept car and the introduction of three PHEV models, the 3008, 508, 508SW. With this show’s additions, the e-208 and e-2008, waiting behind the curtain, it makes the Peugeot lineup of plug-in cars quit impressive.
Peugeot is the main brand of the PSA Group, or Groupe PSA, the world’s 10th largest automaker by some counts. The group is also the owner of Citroen, which includes its luxury brand DS and recently bought Opel/Vauxhall (from GM). The Opel acquisition was to speed up the transition to electric cars, an area where Peugeot was lagging behind. After some discussion, and PSA threatening to ask for their money back, the Ampera-e (Chevy Bolt EV) is now available in insufficient numbers. As we now know, Opel did not bring the hoped for infusion of electric car knowledge.
Groupe PSA had to do the heavy lifting themselves, with some help from their Chinese partner Dongfeng. The result of the collaboration are the CMP and e-CMP platforms. The CMP is for all the models that have a tailpipe, while e-CMP is for the BEVs. These platforms being ready explains the Peugeot 208 + e-208 lineup, and what is to come from the other PSA brands.
The DS3 Crossback E-Tense was the first shown on the e-CMP platform in Paris last fall. At or before IAA Frankfurt 2019, the Citroen C4 Cactus and the Opel/Vauxhall eCorsa will be presented to the world, closely followed by the Peugeot e2008 and Opel/Vauxhall eMokka X.
Meanwhile, on the commercial market, there will be the launch of the Peugeot e-Expert, Citroen eJumpy, and Opel/Vauxhall eVivaro. These are fully electric large vans with cargo space up to 6.6 m3 and 1,400kg carrying capacity.
I can imagine that this is a bit much — it is getting hard to see the overall picture. I know it was for me. That is why I made the following tables with current and future offerings. They are all with a plug and without a tailpipe.
|Peugeot iOn||i-MiEV clone||present|
|Peugeot Partner Tepee||MPV||present|
|Peugeot e-2008 SUV||e-CMP||2019|
|Citroen C-Zero,||i-MiEV clone||present|
|Citroen Berlingo Multispace||MPV||present|
|Citroen e-Mehari||Beach Buggy||present|
|Citroen C4 Cactus||e-CMP||2019|
|Citroen Ami one||concept|
|DS 3 Crossback e-tense||e-CMP||2019|
|Opel Ampera-e (Bolt)||present|
|Opel eMokka X||e-CMP||2020|
The DS3 Crossback e-tense is expected to be the first to market. For the next one, the Peugeot e-208, production will start July 2019, and sales will start around October 2019. For a more technical review of the e-CMP platform, it was described in a previous article here on CleanTechnica.
Perhaps it is strange for most readers that this unknown company jumps in the middle of this electric market out of nowhere. But Citroen and Peugeot have had electric offerings for more than 20 years. There were always offerings for the environmentally conscience in very small numbers. After the Li-ion batteries became available, the Berlingo and Partner vans got an upgrade, and PSA made a deal with Mitsubishi for rebranded i-MiEVs.
While the home competition of Renault (with partner Nissan) entered their best years, PSA entered a dark period around 2012. However, fresh money from Dongfeng and the French state and a new CEO, Carlos Tavares, enabled the turnaround.
PSA is back as the second biggest carmaker of Europe and is now entering the BEV market with a big splash. In the press, it looks like Volkswagen AktienGeselschaft (VAG Group) will be the coming European champion of the electric car market. But PSA is a year ahead of the VAG Group. If the sales of each of the 7 models (one not unveiled yet) on the e-CMP platform is in the 25,000–40,000 region, which is highly likely, the PSA presence could compete with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance for the runner-up place behind Tesla in the coming years.
The chorus of “compliance car” complainers better be silent. A company making a few hundred thousand fully electric vehicles is not trying to comply — this is the start of the transition of Europe’s second largest carmaker to the new reality.
Photos by Jos Olijve and PSA press kits.
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