GRANDOLA, Portugal – Peugeot had planned to build about 10 percent of its new 208 small car with battery power, but early demand for the EV -- called the e-208 -- suggests that figure may be much higher, the French automaker’s CEO said.
“Of the 40,000 qualified leads we received, half were for the e-208. A quarter of the pre-orders we got are for the e-208,” Jean-Philippe Imparato told Automotive News Europe on Oct. 1 on the sidelines of the media drive for the 208.
Imparato admitted that it is too soon to say whether e-208 volume would be much higher than what the company had initially planned or whether this higher mix comes just from the high percentage of early adopters that normally choose new technologies.
“My work is based on facts,” he said, “and the only fact right now is that we can take the e-208 up to 20 percent of the new 208's production of about 300,000 units a year.”
At its current planned 10 percent of overall 208 sales, Peugeot will make money on the e-208, Imparato said. Consequently, he does not need to force the full-electric car's volume to a higher percentage of the range's total to break even.
To lure customers to the e-208, Peugeot is focusing on the car's total cost of ownership, which the company says is on par with a 130-hp, 1.2-liter 208 gasoline version equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
On average, with a 3,500-euro ($3,800) deposit, an e-208 will cost less than 400 euros ($440) a month across Europe, the same as a gasoline model, Peugeot said.
“One advantage of the e-208 is that residual-value specialists tell us it has a residual value 2,000 euros higher than a gasoline model,” Imparato said.