RENNES, France -- PSA/Peugeot-Citroen's new electric cars will be cheaper and have a longer range than the automaker's current EVs, CEO Carlos Tavares said. The company also is close to completing development of its first series plug-in hybrid, he said.
PSA's second-generation EVs will launch in 2020, Tavares told the company's annual shareholders meeting on April 29. "They will have a better performance, greater range and a lower price to the customers," he said.
Sales of EVs and plug-ins are growing in Europe as automakers expand their offerings of such cars to help lower CO2 emissions and meet demand for environmentally friendly models. But PSA’s electric cars, the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero, have not taken off. Combined sales of the EVs reached just 1,300 units last year, according to PSA. Both cars are based on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
PSA will build new EVs on its EMP1 platform, which will underpin the automaker’s next generation of B (subcompact) and entry-level C (compact) cars.
“PSA will make pure electric cars from the bottom of the market upwards based on the new platform by the end of the decade,” a PSA spokesman told Automotive News Europe.
Tavares told shareholders that PSA has created a group to develop its new-generation EVs.
PSA will also launch a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid model in 2019 based on the company’s larger EMP2 platform, Tavares said. EMP2 already underpins two of PSA’s core compacts, the Peugeot 308 hatchback and Citroen C4 Picasso, and will also be used for the replacements for the Citroen C5 and Peugeot 508 midsize cars.
"We have completed the architectural aspects and are currently deciding on the battery technology," Tavares told shareholders at the annual meeting.
Tavares did not say which vehicles will be sold with plug-in hybrid variants. Press reports have said DS will be the first PSA brand to offer a plug-in hybrid. PSA would not comment on the reports, saying only that the plug-in hybrid powertrain will debut in one of the automaker’s high-end models.
PSA has become more bullish about EVs since Tavares joined the automaker from Renault “bringing EV expertise with him,” said Ian Fletcher, an analyst with IHS Automotive. “As a global automaker, I don’t think you cannot be involved in the EV segment,” Fletcher said. “As emissions standards become even stiffer in the future and consumer acceptance grows, you could be left behind the curve.”