Peugeot originally attempted to create electric cars around 20 years ago with vehicles based on the company’s 106 model and the Citroen Berlingo. This was before the age of electric cars and neither vehicle was a rousing success. However, times have changed and now the company feels the time is right to introduce its iON EV in the hope of getting involved in the ever-lucrative zero emissions market.
Peugeot is optimistic about its iON electric car and hopes to sell 50,000 units by 2015. It looks suspiciously like the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and has a compact body that is capable of breezing through traffic. The lithium-ion batteries are mounted beneath the middle of the vehicle and its electric motor gives off 66bhp. The iON is approximately 3.5 metres long and is narrower than super minis found in continental Europe so you should feel comfortable in city traffic.
There is a tremendous level of equipment contained within including electric windows, climate control, remote central locking, a CD stereo and you also get USB connectivity with the iON. The safety kit includes stability control and numerous airbags which is more than sufficient.
The estimated range is 93 miles but only if you drive serenely which is not likely to be the case when you’re whizzing through traffic! Driver visibility is excellent and while the iON can quickly move to 30mph, adding more speed becomes a significantly more difficult process thereafter.
It operates silently and is a nice vehicle to be in during rush-hour traffic; since it is designed for the city, it’s clear that Peugeot has done its homework. The trouble is, Peugeot have decided that the iON should be available on a lease basis which includes all maintenance and servicing on what is a 3-year, 30,000 mile contract.
This turns out to be very expensive when you consider you don’t own the vehicle. The company claims it saves Central London residents the equivalent amount in 4 years by running the iON rather than a typical car. Even if that were the case, and we’re not sure that it is, what about people NOT living in Central London?
Though the Nissan Leaf is not a compact city car like the iON, it is much better value for money all told. Indeed, there are numerous EVs on the market you can own with greater capabilities than the iON. Therefore, while it is a useful electric car, the decision to only allow it to be leased makes it almost impossible to recommend because of the huge cost.
- Rating 3/5
- Cost: From £25,500 ($42,000)
- Miles Per Gallon Equivalent (MPG): 194mpg
- Official Driving Range (Miles): 93 miles
- Standard Charging Time (Hours): 7 hours using domestic supply
- Practicality (Seats & Doors): 5 door hatchback
- Engine Size: 47kW electric motor
- Engine Power: 66bhp
- Transmission: Single speed reduction gear unit
- Acceleration (0-62mph): 15.9 seconds
- Top Speed (mph): 81mph
- NCAP Safety Rating: 4 stars