Putting the 'e' in 2008: Peugeot's smallest electric SUV tested
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Impressive electric range
Very similar drive to the petrol 2008
Eco mode is very economical
Identical to the 2008 on the inside
$10k more expensive than the e208
As one of the biggest events to happen in New Zealand’s automotive industry in recent times, the government’s Clean Car Scheme has seen distributors rush to fill local fleets with hybrid and electric offerings. While it might not be the most prominent brand in New Zealand, European emissions standard has seen Peugeot move quickly on the electric vehicle development front. This importance of electric vehicles in bigger markets has meant that the French brand was able to move quickly following the announcement of the Clean Car Scheme, and now boasts an impressive array of electric offerings locally.
For this first generation of electric vehicles, it seems Peugeot has decided to keep things simple, and offer electric versions of vehicles that were already offered with internal combustion engines. This new e-2008 is a perfect example of this, and certainly looks the part as a battery electric vehicle.
Speaking of looks, not a lot has changed on the e-2008 SUV compared to its petrol-powered counterpart, but there are a few subtle differences. For instance, you’ll find a few blue ‘e’ badges scattered across the SUV, and the dancing lion badge wears a light blue accent. Another subtle change is the addition of the body-coloured accents on the grille, but it still wears the same “Claw Design” front end with the biggest DRLs (daytime running lights) in the game.
Unlike the regular 2008 SUV, this lion doesn’t roar, but instead whirs around thanks to the single electric motor between the front wheels. With 100kW and 260Nm, the e-2008 is zippy, but being exclusively front-driven, the traction control system seems to have its job cut out for it. In an effort to simplify electric driving, Peugeot has divided drive modes into Eco, Normal, and Sport, and has just one setting for regenerative braking. In Eco mode, drivers have access to just 59kW, which can feel a little sluggish for an EV, but is the most economical way to drive. Normal mode lifts power to 74kW, and Sport unleashes all 100kW to the front wheels, but you’ll pay for it with that precious range figure.
On the topic of range, Peugeot claims that the e-2008 can drive a total of 332km on a single charge. WLTP figures have it at 331km, so it seems like the French brand was right on the money. It’s an impressive figure considering that the e-2008 uses a 50kWh battery, which isn’t the biggest, but certainly isn’t the smallest out there.
Peugeot will throw in a trickle charging cable with the e-2008, but if you’re looking to completely charge it from 0-100 per cent, you’d be waiting around 28 hours. Thanks to an onboard charger, a home wallbox will be able to charge it at 7.4kW, meaning that it could be filled in just seven hours. In the fast changing world, the e-2008 is capable of up to 100kw, so 0-80 per cent can be filled in just 30 minutes at this rate.
In terms of safety tech, the e-2008 gets everything you’d ever need in 2021, including adaptive cruise control, active emergency braking, and lane positioning assist. Unlike some vehicles, the passive driver assistance systems aren’t intrusive, and allows the driver to feel like they are maintaining control.
On the inside, it’s almost impossible to distinguish this electric Peugeot from the regular petrol-powered version. Highlights include the Alcantara-covered sports seats up front, and the 3D i-Cockpit behind the small steering wheel.
For the most part, this familiarity is a good thing as everything feels very familiar, but there are a couple of elements that don’t sit right. First is the start button that needs to be held down for a couple of seconds to power the car on. This is something that owners will get used to, but it seems unnecessary in an electric car that doesn’t have an ignition. The other mild inconvenience is the fact that this button is called an ‘engine start button’, and the cluster warnings will alert you to the “engine” still being on when the door is open. Neither of these are deal-breakers, but it feels like a couple of corners were cut here.
In New Zealand, Peugeot is planning on only bringing in the top-spec e-2008 GT, with just a sunroof and colour being the only two configurable options. This is priced from $71,990, but thanks to the government’s EV rebate, buyers can claim an $8,625 rebate, meaning the final figure sits at $63,365.
At a touch over $63,000, this e-2008 is an impressive electric SUV, with the battery range being the main highlight in my eyes. This price also puts it perfectly up against the 62kW Nissan Leaf, but those looking for a high-riding SUV that packs a touch of European class will go for the Frenchie.