Electric Citroen e-C3 costs less than a petrol Vauxhall Corsa
Citroen’s electric supermini gets a 200-odd-mile range, a funky-yet-minimalist interior and a bargain price
Anyone who thought China was winning the race to build the cheapest EV should think again as the all-new Citroen e-C3 has arrived as a 200-mile electric car for ‘under £23,000’.
That’s right; Citroen’s first electric supermini will undercut the likes of the BYD Dolphin and MG4 and, according to the manufacturer, will cost less even than petrol-powered superminis like the Vauxhall Corsa – not to mention its electrified alternative.
Underpinned by Citroen’s new ‘smart car’ platform, all versions of the new e-C3 get a 44kWh LFP (lithium ferro phosphate) battery pack, which is key to the car’s budget price. While it’s not quite as efficient as a lithium ion battery pack, the Citroen’s LFP unit is cheaper to produce and will still offer a range of up to 199 miles on the WLTP tests.
Of course, with the above limitations, buyers can expect to achieve much less than this figure during the winter months – especially given the e-C3 is not offered with a heat pump. Still, Citroen reckons most buyers will only be covering around 50 miles per day, with the e-C3’s 100kW DC charging capability making longer journeys more feasible; a 20-80% top up is said to take only 26 minutes – sufficient time to go and queue up for an overpriced pumpkin spiced latte.
While the Citroen e-C3’s battery pack is mounted underneath the rear seats, its electric motor is hidden under the bonnet – just like the engine in a petrol car. Producing 112bhp, this will get the car from 0-62mph in 11 seconds and onto a modest top speed of 84mph.
The new electric Citroen C3 looks vastly different from the model it replaces, with a much more upright (almost SUV-like) stance and rugged-looking body cladding. One thing worth noting is that the e-C3’s raised suspension features Citroen’s ‘Hydraulic Cushion’ bump stops, which should improve comfort on bumpy city streets.
On the inside, the new e-C3’s dashboard-mounted dials have more than a whiff of the old Citroen Xsara Picasso about them, with the centre dominated by a 10.25-inch touchscreen that sits above a set of physical climate buttons and switches. Elsewhere, there’s a unique oval-shaped steering wheel, as well as a pair of the maker’s patented Advanced Comfort seats.
In terms of size, the new Citroen e-C3 is 18mm longer and 6mm wider than the car it replaces. We’ve already taken a look around the car though and discovered that the rear seats are pretty tight in terms of leg space; the e-C3’s tall roofline means there’s acres of headroom, though. Citroen says there’s 310 litres of boot space available, which is more than what you’d get in a Fiat 500e – or roughly the same as a Peugeot E-208 – and should be more than enough to carry the weekly shop.
At launch, the Citroen e-C3 will be offered in three variants: YOU!, PLUS and MAX. Despite the car’s budget price point, standard equipment looks to be strong, with all models getting LED headlights, air conditioning, cruise control and rear parking sensors – entry-level YOU! cars won’t get a touchscreen, though, instead getting a cradle for the driver’s mobile phone.
Citroen’s newest and most affordable electric car is due to go on sale next year, when it’ll surpass the BYD Dolphin as the cheapest electric car you can buy in the UK. However, it could get even cheaper, as a smaller-battery version is set to arrive in the future, with a range of around 120 miles and a potential starting price of under £20,000.
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