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Unlike Volvo or some of its other rivals, Peugeot Australia has no hard date by which it will go fully electric, according to the local boss Kate Gillies when talking to CarsGuide.
The brand is in the process of rolling out fully electric versions of both its commercial and passenger car range, with the arrival of the e-2008 and e-Partner (both priced from $59,990 before on-roads), and is even rolling back its combustion presence, with the 508 going plug-in hybrid only for the foreseeable future.
So, will Peugeot start rolling back its combustion presence across the rest of its range in a move toward being electric-only?
When asked, Gillies said the local division had no such plans.
“Electrification is the future, but there’s no e- only edict,” Gillies said. “Our aspiration is to ensure choice for our customers. [Sales of] the internal combustion variants have actually increased based on these electric versions coming in.”
Gillies explained that buyers may be drawn in by PHEVs or EVs, but ultimately settle on a combustion car for the time being.
“We are seeing it flow both ways - people who are discovering Peugeot because of this variant, or coming in because they like the 2008 but they’re not ready for electric yet so they end up purchasing the internal combustion version,” she said.
While the 508 range has been reduced to a top-spec PHEV only affair (priced from $81,610 before on-roads), Gillies also said there was no plan for the brand to drop its entire existing combustion car portfolio to PHEV-only.
“It will be on a case-by-case basis,” she explained. “It depends on the segment and performance.”
“As our flagship, we have a determined electrification story - taking the 508 PHEV only felt like the right thing to do. The dual powertrain, electric plus combustion, we’re finding that’s the right mix.”
A similar logic applies to the current Peugeot range sticking to more expensive high-grade GT-Line and GT versions of its range, with Gillies noting: “There’s an element of taking the complexity out for the customer. That’s why GT and GT-Line is a sweet spot. Lower specs simply aren’t as popular as those higher grades.”
2024 will be a big year for Peugeot’s electrification efforts, with the introduction of the e-Expert mid-size van, e-208 fully electric hatch, and the 408 mid-size SUV, which the brand confirmed would arrive as a plug-in hybrid only.
Sadly, this won’t extend to the performance-oriented Peugeot Sport Engineered plug-in variants available overseas, with Gillies saying a performance PHEV might be a niche too far for the brand.
“As much as I personally love it, there’s no room in the market for that kind of model,” she said.
“It’s to do with the size of the segment and the ability to be a stand-out. For us, it’s about concentrating on those areas where we can stand-out.” while also adding, “It’s very removed from everything we’re already doing.”
The Peugeot Sport Engineered 508, available as a sedan and wagon in Europe ups the existing 508 PHEV’s 165kW/320Nm combined output to a whopping 270kW/520Nm, allowing a 0-100km/h sprint time in just 5.2 seconds. The increased performance lowers the electric-only driving range from 63km to 55km. The Sport Engineered variant also adds unique wheels and exterior trim.
Keep an eye out toward the end of 2023 for Australian pricing for the 408 PHEV and early 2024 for the e-208.