Having been an electric vehicle (EV) driver now for five years I don’t need too much of an invitation to test drive a new electric offering. So when Ben the GM at Peugeot North Shore offered the opportunity to test-drive the new Peugeot e208 over a couple of days in early October I jumped at the chance.
The French car manufacturer is known the world over for building quality motor vehicles so the e208 has an unfair head start when it's based on the same multi award winning 2020 European Car of the Year – the Peugeot 208. For the two days I drove the car it didn’t disappoint. The quality is very good.
A key aspect when choosing an electric vehicle is the range versus the price, and again the Peugeot e208 ticks this box well. When I picked the vehicle up from Peugeot North Shore on Wairau Road it told me it had 339km worth of driving in it. While I didn’t do lots of long distance driving in the two days I had it those kilometres didn’t disappear quickly as I zipped around . The e208 apparently has a range of up to 349km and with a price of just over $50k when you factor in the government’s $8,625 clean car rebate, it’s pretty economical driving. And it's the future.
The team at Peugeot North Shore tell me it’s the best value European EV on the market! They probably have the data to back that up as well, with over 130 orders already having been taken in New Zealand.
In my experience as an EV driver there are some very important ingredients required from your vehicle. The range is one. Also important is charging time – how long it takes to charge the vehicle. This is something that those used to driving petrol and diesel vehicles will take some adjusting to. With those ICE vehicles you can just rock up to the fuel station and fill up in minutes – but gee is it expensive! With EVs you need to plan a bit more. While charging time can vary, the Peugeot e208 can get an 80% charge in 30 minutes at 100kW chargers. This is impressive if you are on a trip. But mostly EVs are charged overnight at home, with well-organised owners programming this for the middle of the night at very favourable off-peak rates which makes for very cheap driving.
There are four charging modes for any electric vehicle today. Peugeot electric vehicles have been designed to use either Mode 2, Mode 3 or Mode 4. Mode 2 is where the connection between the vehicle and the charging point is performed through an electronic box on the charging cable supplied with the vehicle plugged into any standard wall socket. Mode 3 is where the connection between the vehicle and the charging point is performed through a specially designed Mode 3 cable for use at public or workplace charging stations. Mode 4 is for public fast-charging stations using a tethered CCS Combo 50KW DC cable.
I enjoyed driving the Peugeot e208 as it certainly has the solid feel that you get with a well-built European motor vehicle. Peugeot’s publicity says "the driving pleasure and serenity of electric power delivers an entirely new experience. Feel the sharp acceleration and immediate torque, experience the serenely quiet and smooth engine”. I am well used to this pleasure that comes from electric vehicles, and it is real.
The e-208 has plenty of the power from the 136hp (100 kW) motor and the 260Nm of torque that's available from 0 km/h. Other features are configurable 3D head-up display, a large 10" touchscreen and the 7 "piano" toggle switches. You can also personalise your interior environment with a choice of interior ambient lighting in eight LED colours.
There are also three driving modes in the e-208: Sport mode, Normal mode and Eco mode. As an economical EV driver I just drove mainly in Eco. If you love your driving though, this vehicle has plenty of power when in Sport – I gave it a burst!
In Eco mode, the power and torque are limited to reduce the electrical consumption. The power from the electric motor is reduced to 80 BHP (60kW) to reduce and optimise consumption. Normal electric power steering. The Energy Recovery Braking Function means that during deceleration and/or braking, the vehicle’s kinetic (motion) energy is converted into electricity to recharge the traction battery. The electric powertrain recovers the mechanical kinetic energy, thus transforming the electric motor into a generator. This creates regenerative braking (engine). There are other choices to be made for the driver. Normal mode D on the gear stick gives a smoother regeneration when releasing the accelerator pedal and when braking. B mode on the gear stick recharges the battery more when the accelerator pedal is released and when braking. It’s a clever car!
The Peugeot e208 got a good pass mark from me. It’s pretty good value when you consider your fuel and maintenance bill will reduce to about 10 or 20% of non-EV vehicles. The only criticism I would say is it is a small car that’s not spacious in the back seating area. The good news it the bigger Peugeot e2008 SUV is about to be released as well for those requiring a more spacious family EV.
Peugeot e208 is available to purchase with Peugeot’s clever iOWN intelligent ownership from as little as $165 per week*. The cash price is $59,990 + ORC, and with the Clean Car Rebate applied, the price becomes $51,365 + ORC. Orders are now being taken for vehicles to be delivered early next year. You can test drive Peugeot North Shore’s demo vehicle contactless by contacting Ben Panettiere and his team at Peugeot North Shore, 130 Wairau Road. Phone 09 442 3323 or visit: www.pcns.co.nz