Peugeot e-208 could get a cheaper, smaller-battery model

Peugeot's e-208 could gain a cheaper, lower-range version, but not for a few years

Peugeot e-208

Peugeot could add a cheaper version of its e-208 electric hatchback with a smaller battery than the existing 50kWh module, provided that customer demand is there.
 
Anne-Lise Richards, the company's brand manager for electric vehicles, told DrivingElectric that “the more comfortable customers become with EVs, the less we'll need to reassure them about range. Currently customers aren't saying that the e-208 is too expensive, but at one point maybe we'll need a more affordable option and we could always achieve a smaller battery.”

Adding a choice of battery options is technically simple in terms of removing cells, but offering cars with different battery sizes – as is the case with forthcoming models like the Volkswagen ID.3 – can make the production process costlier and more complicated. As Richards clarified: “the only thing is introducing diversity in the plants, and we need to be sure there is a need from the customers.”

In the immediate future, the e-208 and its Peugeot e-2008 SUV sibling will only be offered with the existing 50kWh battery, which delivers 211 and 193-mile ranges respectively in those cars. But a lower-range model offering some 150 miles' range (25% less than the existing model) could drop the starting price of the e-208 to around £22,000 or less.

That would make the car a much closer rival for the likes of the Volkswagen e-up!, Skoda Citigoᵉ iV and SEAT Mii electric, while still keeping it very much in contention with short-range alternatives such as the Honda e and MINI Electric.

Peugeot e-208 specifications

Four trim levels are currently offered on the e-208, with the entry-level Active spec getting Peugeot’s i-Cockpit dashboard displays, a seven-inch touchscreen, cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and smartphone connectivity in the form of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.

Also included are 16-inch steel wheels and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, as well as powered and heated door mirrors, plus pre-heating functionality and automatic air-conditioning.

The Allure trim adds a gloss-black B-pillar, leather-effect seat upholstery, double stitching detail and ‘Claw Effect’ LED tail-lights. GT Line includes front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, additional active safety systems and ‘smart’ headlights. The wheels are also upgraded to 17-inch alloys, with gloss-black wheelarch extensions and a black roof added, too.

The top-spec GT trim is exclusive to the e-208 and adds fully automated parking assistance, adaptive cruise control, lane-positioning assistance and blind-spot monitoring, as well as Alcantara trim, heated front seats and a 10-inch colour touchscreen.

The e-208 features a 50kWh battery capable of delivering 211 miles of range according to the latest testing cycle, known as WLTP. The battery is covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile warranty.

The supermini is powered by a 134bhp electric motor, and will do 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds. The e-208 comes with three driving modes: ‘Eco’ to maximise range, ‘Normal’ for passenger comfort, and ‘Sport’ for performance driving.

Up to 100kW rapid charging is offered, with Peugeot estimating a 0-80% charge taking as little as 30 minutes at that rate. A full top-up should take around eight hours from a wallbox charger, increasing to over 20 hours using a domestic three-pin socket.

 

Styling

Built on the same CMP platform as the next-generation Vauxhall Corsa and DS 3 Crossback, the e-208 adopts largely the same design as its petrol and diesel siblings, albeit with some key differences.

A pair of ‘e’ motifs feature on the rear panels, and the company’s lion logo is said to appear to change colour from different angles. The front grille gains a chequered colour scheme to match the body paint.

As expected, the e-208 adopts a five-door hatchback shape, with the grille appearing more upright than on previous generations of the internal combustion-engined car. Meanwhile, the roofline drops down towards the rear for a sporty look.

Interior and infotainment

Peugeot says the battery has been positioned to maximise interior space, and claims that the boot space doesn’t suffer at all compared to the petrol and diesel variants. The carmaker’s 3D i-Cockpit infotainment system – much criticised when it was launched, but now much more favourably received – features inside, with either seven or 10-inch touchscreens included depending on trim level.

This 3D i-Cockpit comes with TomTom Traffic updates and Peugeot Mirror Screen, making it compatible with MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity. It also incorporates Free2Move Services, which provides access to charging points across Europe and suggests the best routes for long-distance journeys.

The interior benefits from a padded dashboard with a carbon finish on the central section, and storage areas can be found under the front armrest, in front of the gearlever and in the centre console itself. Higher trim levels add heated seats.

Additionally, the interior can be customised with a choice of eight LED colour accents, and in GT-spec cars, the e-208 gains Alcantara upholstery, plus 17-inch alloy wheels with “special inserts”.

The e-208 also benefits from Peugeot Driver Assist, which includes a suite of safety systems: these include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance up to 45mph, parking assistance, emergency braking assistance, speed-limit and traffic-sign recognition, automatic headlight dipping and blind-spot monitoring, among others.

A head-up display projects driver information onto the windscreen, so you don’t need to divert your eyes from the road. For more on the e-208, read our full review of the car here.