Star of sales in France, the Peugeot e-208 is renewed. The new traction chain gives a second wind to the city car, provided you pay the price.
Launched in 2019, the Peugeot e-208 was targeting the ever-present Renault Zoé in the annual sales charts. After a very questionable first copy, the city car benefited from a technical update which made it possible to significantly reduce its appetite, and therefore improve its versatility. Sufficient for most uses, these improvements have not transfigured the model, whose restyling was long overdue. Especially since behind this retouched pencil stroke hides a brand new electric traction chain, pride of Stellantis which equips a very wide range of models. Like the latter, we find a new battery as well as a more powerful electric machine. This promises to give wings to the city car, but it doesn’t do anything like the others.
A new CATL battery for the Peugeot e-208
Because if the group’s other electric cars rely on a new battery of 54 kWh of gross capacity for 51 kWh of useful capacity (Peugeot e-308, DS 3 e-Tense, Jeep Avenger, etc.), the Peugeot e-208 is on board, like the Opel Corsa-e, a unit with 51 kWh of gross capacity, for 48.1 kWh of useful capacity. The reason ? The space available within the 2.54 m wheelbase would not allow the installation of the largest battery. And this even if the Jeep Avenger, with just eight centimeters more between the axles, benefits from the larger battery. We could be satisfied with this explanation, but everything does not seem clear.
In any case, the e-208 battery has NMC811 prismatic cells, officially supplied by the Chinese specialist CATL. It powers the new electric machine codenamed M3, developed by eMotors. Made in France, the mechanism replaces the old Continental block. On paper, there are numerous modifications to improve performance, efficiency and reliability. We thus note a multi-strand winding or a single-piece casing without seal of the cooling circuit, while the power increases to 156 hp for an unchanged torque of 260 Nm of torque. The reduction ratio, already modified previously, remains, as do the other improvements (software update, new humidity sensor, etc.).
Test – Peugeot e-2008: electrical modernization, but not only that!
All these developments allow the city car to pass a symbolic bar with its 410 km according to the WLTP approval standard. Which represents a gain of 48 km compared to the previous version, or even 70 km compared to the very first iteration. Note that this test version in high-end GT finish announces 400 km all round. On the recharge side, no development is claimed. Refueling with alternating current is entrusted to a 7.4 kW onboard charger (or an optional 11 kW at €400), while there is a 100 kW system for fast charging. According to the technical sheet, this allows it to go from 10 to 80% in 27 minutes in this case. The average charging power should therefore not change significantly.
Subtle developments on the road
If the changes are seen on the outside, they are less present on the inside. The cabin stands out with the new 10-inch central touch screen, with a display that extends on either side of the module. The operating system is taken from the Peugeot e-308. The graphics and responsiveness are improving overall, even if we noted a few bugs during this short test. In any case, the whole thing is more technological, but lacks some useful features for beginners such as a real on-board route planner.
Test – Jeep Avenger: consumption and autonomy measured in our Supertest
Small steering wheel in hand, the behavior of the city car does not differ from that which we have known until today. Well planted on its suspension, the city car quickly puts a smile on your face when cornering. Despite the appearance of a larger capacity battery, the weight of 1,455 kg is also unchanged. If the dynamic assessment hardly changes, the Peugeot e-208 is still just as pleasant to drive in town and on the outskirts. The engine, now much quieter, allows you to enjoy all the tranquility of the electric fairy, even if the results were not so catastrophic before. Unlike the consistency of the brake pedal, always hesitating between dissipative and regenerative braking. Especially since mode B, to be activated from a button that you have to look at to aim correctly with your finger, still lacks power. Fans of modes adjustable on several levels or One-Pedal mode will not find what they are looking for.
As always, the other modes are still limited to 82 hp (Eco) and 109 hp (Normal). You will therefore have to activate Sport mode or mash the right pedal fully to release the full power of the electric machine. At start-up, the system takes care of itself and only saves 0.8 s on 0-100 km/h (for a total of 8.2 s). However, the mechanics offer much more response on acceleration with a difference of 1.3 s over 80-120 km/h. But again, situations are rare on a daily basis to really benefit from performance gains.
In terms of consumption, our first drive on roads with a very favorable profile revealed an average of around 14.5 kWh/100 km. On the motorway, we can estimate an appetite of around 20 kWh/100 km, or 240 km of theoretical total autonomy without margin. In absolute terms, the difference is small in the latter case. However, we quickly notice a gain of 10% in terms of autonomy compared to our first measurements. But we will have to wait for the Supertest of this new version to obtain more representative consumption figures.
A price list that tickles the compacts
By taking advantage of the group’s new electric machine, the Peugeot e-208 displays a sobriety that is ultimately consistent for a car of this size. Certainly, the battery changes little, but the difference of around twenty kilometers at best if it had the 51 kWh unit would not change anyone’s life. But it would be placed at the level of electrics in the higher segment in terms of autonomy. Finally, as with the other cars in the group, the new mechanics only bring their benefits when you get angry at the wheel, which is unusual in everyday life. The rest of the time, we drive a Peugeot e-208 as we have always known it.
Still sexy in the flow of traffic, a little more modern with its central screen, and exciting behind the wheel, the Peugeot e-208 is still a good car. But it lacks a few characteristics to become a real good electric. Its autonomy evolves in the thickness of the line while the most keen will regret the absence of a planner or a more powerful B mode.
Supertest – Peugeot e-208 (2022): consumption, range and performance measured
For the moment, the e-208 has no direct competition. The Renault Zoé has passed its expiration date, and we have to wait a little longer before we see the Citroën ë-C3, Renault 5 e-Tech or Volkswagen ID.2 arrive. The Sochalian city car therefore rubs shoulders with the higher segment with its hefty price list. Priced from €34,850 for entry-level Active, it tickles a much more versatile MG 4 Luxury. The GT finish, which remains attractive, no longer touches ground, demanding a check for €38,850, or in the waters of a 220 hp Renault Megane e-Tech EV60 (€39,500).
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