The Mitsubishi i-MiEV was a true pioneer, something that wasn’t lost on Peugeot and Citroen who promptly bought the rights to re-badge it and sell it as their own even before the Mitsubishi was on sale in the UK. At a stroke Peugeot/Citroen got themselves one of the best of the first generation electric cars. Mitsubishi has subsequently discontinued their version but for new the Peugeot and Citroen live on.
The i-MiEV was based on the petrol i which is an innovative city car that was on sale here for a few years but has never sold in big numbers. By applying a cab-over design Mitsubishi managed to liberate useful space inside which allows four adults and some luggage to fit into a car which is less than 3.5 metres long.
The petrol version is rear-engined with a flat petrol tank fitted under the floor to maintain as much interior space as possible. For the electric version, the batteries replace the fuel tank and the electric motor replaces the engine so you don’t lose any practicality and the centre of gravity is lowered by 65 mm, improving handling.
On the road the C-Zero and iOn are nippy in city traffic with 133 lb.ft of torque on offer and thanks to their small footprint they feel perfectly at home in the urban environment. Thanks to the motor being at the back there is little drivetrain noise too. They do slow down a bit out of town but are capable of holding their own with a top speed of 81 mph.
The Peugeot/Citroen models are a welcome addition to the electric market. They feel solid and the clever design means that they are practical too, with no loss of interior space and a genuine four adult capacity. Peugeot/Citroen offer an 8 year warranty for the batteries and drivetrain.
Official range: 93 miles
Estimated real world range: 45 – 80 miles
Official electricity consumption: 135 Wh/km
Battery pack: 14.5 kWh lithium ion pack (8 year warranty)
Recharge time: 240V charge 7 hours; quick charge 30 minutes for 80%
Please note that CO2 emissions quoted for electric cars are not directly comparable to diesel and petrol cars. This is because CO2 emissions quoted are calculated by Green Car Guide and include the emissions created at the power station turning fuel (e.g. gas etc) into electricity and in transmitting and distributing the electricity to an end user. They do not include the actual production of the fuel (e.g. gas extraction and refinery emissions). Petrol and diesel emissions are supplied by car manufacturers and are based solely on the fuel burnt in the engine (tailpipe emissions) and do not include the production of the fuel or distribution to a fuel station. In practice this means that electric car emissions are over estimated relative to petrol and diesel. For instance if an electric car, a petrol car, and a diesel car are all reported to emit 100 g/km CO2, the electric car actually has lower emissions.