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Peugeot Australia considers electrified line-up

Bright spark: The e-208 could be Peugeot Australia’s first battery-electric vehicle, although it says the light hatch will not become available until “genuine customer demand” develops.

Battery-electric e-208 may lead Peugeot Australia’s move towards electrification

26 Apr 2019

PEUGEOT is yet to commit to offering electrified variants of its model line-up in Australia, but says nothing is off the table – including the recently revealed e-208 battery-electric light hatch.


In an interview last week at the Expert mid-size van media launch in Sydney, Peugeot Citroen Australia (PCA) managing director Ben Farlow said PSA Group has left the door wide open for any powertrain in any model.


“For us, electric and hybrid vehicles will be an option,” he said. “We’ll learn from Europe and, based on trends in Australia as they evolve in the coming years, we’ll make decisions on introductions.


“The good news is, though, that we’ve got options. PSA Group is one of the more advanced manufacturers in that space, so if it starts to grab in Australia and we’re having success in Europe, we’ll be ready.”


One such model that could head Down Under is the recently revealed e-208 battery-electric light hatch, which Mr Farlow said could help the Peugeot brand widen its customer base – but only if demand exists.


“If we’re trying to recruit a new generation of customer and they have a high propensity to electric vehicles, then e-208 would be an obvious choice,” he said.


“Those decisions, for us, we’ll make early next year. We’re not going to just launch an electric vehicle, like some, for a bit of PR and excitement. We’ll introduce it when there’s a genuine consumer demand.”


The e-208 is powered by a 100kW electric motor and features a 50kWh battery pack that delivers 340km of driving range on Europe’s recently introduced WLTP cycle and can be charged from zero to 80 per cent in 30 minutes using a 100kW DC fast-charger.


Another contender for electrification is the second-generation 508 mid-size car, which made a performance push at the Geneva motor show last month with a plug-in hybrid powertrain in Sport Engineered concept form.


A 165kW PHEV version of the front-wheel-drive 508, dubbed Hybrid, already exists but has previously been ruled out by the Australian distributor, alongside the 3008 mid-size SUV’s more potent, 220kW Hybrid4 variant.


As reported, the 508 will enter Australian showrooms in liftback guise in the third quarter, while its Touring wagon body style will arrive before 2020.


Mr Farlow also said “nothing’s been confirmed yet” with the Australian launch of the second-generation 208 – spanning all powertrain variants – after the light hatch made its debut at the Geneva show ahead of a European release early in 2020.


“Our hope is that we get it soon after,” he said. “I see no reason why we wouldn’t want to, (but) it will depend on demand in Europe. I see a place for it.”


Mr Farlow added that the second-generation 2008 small SUV is also imminent and will fit in with Peugeot’s product strategy that is currently underpinned by the 3008 and 5008 mid-size SUVs that launched in August 2017 and February 2018 respectively.


Interestingly, Mr Farlow suggested that the 308 small car could outsell Volkswagen’s Golf in the future, despite the latter becoming a legitimate volume seller in recent times.


The 308 has sold 94 units to the end of March, while the Golf is miles ahead on 3745 units for the year to date.


“It wasn’t that long ago that the 308 outsold the Golf,” he said. “There’s no reason why that can’t happen again at some stage in the future … even though that segment’s been in decline in recent times.


“I think it’s an aspiration goal, for sure. I think the type of work that PSA Group is doing in small passenger car in 208 and 308 gives me confidence that in the future we can chase something like that.”

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