ELECTRIC cars are the future. There, I said it. Coming from a declared gasoline head like me, that’s quite the confession – but the facts don’t lie.
More electric cars were sold in March than in all of 2021. Relentlessly rising fuel prices combined with the cost of living crisis means drivers can’t get enough.
It costs around £15 to recharge the battery of a Peugeot e-2008. Filling the tank of the same diesel-equipped car costs £77 at current forecourt prices.
The 2008 electric has a range of around 200 miles (maybe a little more if you drive carefully). Driven around town with a little highway cruising A thrown in the 2008 HDI can cover about 500 miles on a tank.
You do the math.
The e-2008 is a sleek little SUV that’s a cheerful and practical alternative to a monotonous hatchback.
Normally, you have to be prepared to compromise if you buy an electric car. The biggest compromise is usually in the trunk (that battery has to go somewhere, right?); it’s not uncommon for electrified versions of small cars to have 50% less luggage capacity.
The e-2008’s platform has been designed to accept battery power from the start so that it fits under the floor, meaning owners benefit from the same generous luggage capacity of 434 liters than its internal combustion cousins.
This battery is a 50kWh lithium-ion power pack powering a 134hp motor.
Peugeot has tinkered with internal diagnostics to get a bit more range in this year’s model and claims 212 miles on a full charge. This, of course, will vary depending on your riding style and the conditions.
However, when you need to “refuel”, there’s more good news: the e-2008 supports 100 kWh DC fast charging, which means you can recharge the battery to around 80 % in less than half an hour.
Using my Pod Point 7kW home charger, I charged from 40% to 80% in just over three hours, so if you plug in one evening, the e-2008 will be fully charged the next morning.
The charging socket is hidden behind a flap in the same place you would find a fuel tank. A small light flashes green when charging. Peugeot’s digital instrument cluster also displays the charge rate and an estimate of the time to fill.
To drive, the e-2008 is indeed very pleasant. The powertrain is pretty much quiet, and refinement levels are excellent.
Handling is safe and secure and those impressive 18-inch alloys don’t spoil the ride.
You quickly learn to adopt a more relaxed approach to driving: brake gently to help recharge the battery and accelerate more cautiously to preserve your power.
It’s completely stress-free.
Perceived quality matters in this class and the e-2008 gets top marks.
The 3D instruments reminded me of the original Lexus LS400 and each model comes with a generous touchscreen (ten inches on the swankier models) that offers all the features you could want including Android Auto integration and Apple CarPlay. Wireless charging is also standard on GT versions and GT Premium levels.
The sleek dashboard is fully digital and the small leather-wrapped steering wheel is pleasant to grip.
From the driver’s seat, you could be sitting in a conventionally powered car. There are no silly buttons, weird gear selectors (I’m looking at you Nissan) or off-putting “one pedal” drive modes (although you can dial in extra regenerative braking, you’ll never have the feel like you just hit a brick wall when you release the accelerator).
So Peugeot is to be commended for building a resolutely modern and so unthreatening electric car. If you are an electric beginner this is the perfect introduction.
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PERFORMANCE: Don’t be fooled by top speed. It is limited to preserve battery power. The e-2008 is able to keep up with fast traffic. ****
CABIN: Beautiful and made from quality materials. ***
PRACTICALITY: Lots of interior space and a practical trunk.***1/2
VALUE: Those savings soon start adding up.****
Price: from £32,460
Motor: electric battery motor
Maximum power: 134 hp
Maximum torque: 192 lb/ft
Top speed: 93mph
0-62MPH: 9.0 seconds
Charging cost: approx. £15
SUMMARY: An aesthetic and very practical electric alternative to a small family SUV.