The Peugeot 208 is one of the best Supermini’s on sale, so the arrival of an electric version is a big moment for EV’s. You see hiding the cost and physical size of a battery in a large car or a big SUV is relatively easy, but if EV’s are to become widespread small cars have to prove that they can be electric too.
Peugeot’s answer is the new e-CMP platform which cleverly can take a petrol, diesel, plugin hybrid or full electric drivetrain and that means they can all be built in the same factory and costs can be spread out across the range. Despite the resulting compromises the e-208 can still accommodate a 50 kWh battery which is impressive given the Supermini dimensions. This gives an official range of 225 miles which makes longer trips an easy proposition.
That 50 kWh battery pack feeds a 134 bhp motor which provides brisk performance, and of course with no gearbox that acceleration feels quicker still with no breaks in torque. This makes the e-208 brilliantly suited to the cut and thrust of city work, but it still has enough in reserve to feel comfortable on faster roads.
It’s a strong start, but things get even better on the charging front. Fast charging is handled by a 7.4 kW on board charger with a cost option to upgrade to 11 kW, but it is Rapid charging where bonus points are scored. Rather than the usual 50 kW Rapid capability, the CCS enabled Peugeot can take 100 kW from Ultra Rapid chargers. This means an 80% charge can be done in 30 minutes so you can get back on the road quickly.
And speaking of the road, you will want to get back out there. The 208 is a fun Supermini and the electric version gets a lower centre of gravity and better weight distribution so it is even more fun. You can also select two different braking modes, the first mimics conventional engine braking, whilst the second offers one pedal operation.
The interior looks great and feels relatively premium, but the centrepiece 3D i-Cockpit remains as polarising as ever because some people can’t get the steering wheel into a comfortable position and see the instrument binnacle. If that is you we can understand why the i-Cockpit is a let down. However for the rest it looks great and sets the 208 apart from the competition.
Which brings us onto the e-208’s closest rival; the Corsa-e. They share the same platform, battery and electric machine but there are differences. Firstly we think the 208 looks better from the outside and both looks and feels better inside. The Peugeot is also the more interesting one to drive, is lighter, has a bigger boot (311 litres vs 267 litres) and goes a bit further on a full charge. Put all that together and we think you really need to try the e-208 first before buying a Corsa-e.
Estimated real world range: 170 – 225 miles
Official range: 225 miles
Official electricity consumption: TBC
Battery pack: 50 kWh (gross) lithium ion; 8 year / 100,000 mile warranty (>70% battery remaining)
Recharge time: 240v 24 hours; 7 kW charge approx 7 hours 30 minutes; Rapid CCS 50 kW 1 hour 10 mins (0 – 100%) 45 minutes (15-80%); Ultra Rapid CCS 100 kW 50 minutes (0 – 100%) 30 minutes (15-80%)
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.