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Citroen C-Zero

Citroen C-Zero

First came the Mitsubishi i MiEV, then the Peugeot i0n, now Citroën has announced its own version of the same electric car.

Citroën has called it the C-Zero, but the different name doesn’t hide the fact that it’s an i MiEV.

Whereas Renault is planning to bring four distinctly different and unique electric vehicles of its own to market from 2011, it’s disappointing that French rivals Peugeot and Citroën are just rebadging a Mitsubishi. And this is despite Citroën having already produced more than 5,500 electric vehicles.

So the vital statistics are unsurprisingly similar to the i MiEV. Due for launch in the last quarter of 2010, the Citroen C-Zero is a four-seater electric city car with a 166 litre boot. Original-fit features include power steering, ABS, traction control, ESP, electric windows, six airbags and air conditioning.

It has a top speed of 80 mph, acceleration from 0-62 mph in 15 seconds, along with a range of around 80 miles.

Its motor is powered by a latest-generation 330-volt lithium-ion battery system comprising 88 50Ah cells mounted in the centre of the vehicle.

Lithium-ion technology keeps battery weight down compared with conventional technology, while offering equivalent performance. It’s also resistant to partial re-charges, which have no impact on battery longevity.

The permanent magnet synchronous motor delivers 47kW or 64bhp EEC from 3,000 to 6,000rpm.

Maximum torque of 180Nm is available from 0 to 2,000rpm and power is transmitted to the rear axle via a single-speed reduction gear.

A complete charge takes six hours, while an 80% charge is possible in just 30 minutes using an external station with a single-phase current of 125A at 400V, for power of up to 50kW.