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back to article Peugeot iOn e-car

Back in 2009, I took one of the first pre-production Mitsusbishi iMiEV’s in the UK for a spin. Spool forward to 2011 and you can now have the e-car with a Peugeot or Citroën badge on the nose. But there have been enough, albeit subtle, changes to warrant a another shufti. Peugeot iOn Peugeot's iOn: a familiar shape that looks …

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Range just too short

Realistically, I suppose I'm the person this car is aimed at. If it had a few more miles range, I could drive it to and from work every day and leave it charging at the weekend. It's nice to see that electric cars are getting better.

One small request about your car reviews: Would it be possible to let us know which insurance groups they fall in when you review them? The money it costs to hire this vehicle is one thing, but it might work out crazy expensive when you add on fully comp insurance.

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Chare at Weekends?

The great thing about EVs is that you can charge them every night.

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Overnight

Overnight charging is possible - 50 miles to work is longer than the vast majority of people.

If you have parking at work then you might be able to charge during the day as well...

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Silver badge

I'd say the range seems fine for the target market

Commuting to and from work every day, plug it in overnight and never mind if you forget a couple of times a week.

Same as your smartphone.

The problem is that the UK target market is the one that lives in London, works inside the congestion charge zone and has a driveway or garage where power is available.

And that target market is one that doesn't really exist.

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FAIL

Yuck

Dials look like something from a cheap 80s import!

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Silver badge

That interior is very Amstrad

Shiny plastic things wedged in at random.

And the exterior is a bit of a horror too from the gimpy 'smile' at the front to the standing on tip-toes poise - are the French pathologically unable to design a good looking car?

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FAIL

Ugh

For less than the cost of leasing that for a year, you could get a very economical 2nd hand petrol car that doesn't have environment destroying batteries, and you can actually drive to the beach and back without having to spend half of your journey finding a suitable place to charge.

Also, the car and it's interior look like some Chinese knockoff of a Chinese knockoff of a golf buggy.

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Anonymous Coward

Stereo is nasty looking also

Nice exterior and tolerable interior, the stereo head unit is vile though, looks very cheap and nasty.

Is it possible to charge it with a 32amp AC socket?

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printing money

How is £500 a month a good deal? I could lease a very nice car for that much and have change to pay for the fuel to drive it somewhere.

£700 to install a 16A charging point? £30 for parts and about 2 hours labour including testing circuit and hoovering up the mess. Want cheaper electricity to charge the car overnight? Guess what you can have that installed for free too, it's called economy 7.

I love the idea of electric cars but until they sort the cost out they just aren't going to become popular.

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Bronze badge
Stop

mental. absolutely mental

I do about 6k a year in my car.

my X5, 300hp v8 gas guzzling 'evil' car.

my car that cost me FA, and is 10 years old.

My car that costs me FA to run a year (about 50 quid a month in tyres, servicing, depreciation).

add 40 quid a month for petrol

And yet I'm the one that is marked with the number of the beast.

Here is a car that costs 500 quid a month!!!. making them pumped 100s of tons of christ knows what into the atmosphere. batteries that are so expensive and inefficient they can't even be bought... and it's sold as green.

Now, before the tree huggers start - I had 2 electric bikes and use them whenever I can. The thing is - it was a regular bike, with a battery added, low emission. that to me, makes sense.

electric cars,, well to me, any new cars tbh make no sense at all and are about as green as crude oil... a modern car last more or less for ever (well - both mine are 10 year+ and look new). Do you get a 'new' house every 3 years ? do you fuck.

don'y buy into the industry's mince - and stick with what you've got. it's the greenest thing you'll ever do.

stu

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**cough**

Bullshit**cough***

What are you on?

Firstly even old x5's are not fa. Especially since you are then trying to tell us in the next line that it's still depreciating.

Your numbers dont even add up.

500 miles a month in a car that averages **at best** 20 mpg ( which no-one ever achieves) is more like £135 a month at current prices.

Your points were mostly valid. Shame about the example.

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Devil

<Looks at photos>

Hmm... nice bodywork.

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Stop

You've been duped

"On a 15-mile local run, I left with the range indicator at 84 miles and got back with it reading 80, which goes to show how effective regenerative braking can be at extending range if you resist the temptation to accelerate hard."

No it doesn't. It goes to show that you can't believe a range indicator that says you have only used four miles'-worth of energy when you have driven 15 miles (which is not surprising as it's notoriously difficult to work out how much remaining capacity there is in a battery). The only other explanation is that using the braking system recovers more energy than was used to get the car going! This of course is impossible unless you had a following gale-force wind or the journey was downhill most of the way.

Regenerative braking recovers only a small amount of energy. Most of the energy used is lost in friction (air and rolling resistance) and inefficiencies in the motor/drive train/control circuitry. You are placing far too much faith in it.

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Stop

Makes me nervous

£500 per month for 48 months = £24,000 - but I can't help but foresee a technically superior vehicle with greater range and affordability coming to market within those same 4 years.

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Two observations

1) Yep, EDF's electricity is almost 50% nuclear. That means they can't really throttle it overnight, so there's a big incentive for them to set up an infrastructure to allow people to use the surplus overnight generation and store it up in their car for the next day's commute.

2) There seems to be a lot of this "you don't buy an electric car, you lease it" stuff going about. Is this the way the car market is going? I hope not. I want to be able to buy a car and keep it for 15+ years so long as it's safe and useful. Hell, my everyday motorbike is 14 years old, and still has loads of life left in it. If we end up leasing cars for only 3 years, surely the waste created by disposing of these vehicles and recycling them will be worse than just running a petrol/diesel car around in the first place!

I'm certainly not against the idea of electric cars. I just don't want to be in the pocket of someone else for my transport. And I'm too fat for a bicycle!

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mkc
WTF?

I'd rather walk

so I will

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Childcatcher

Still too costly

I sat in an iMiEV in the showroom as was quite taken by it. However the price is ridiculous. These things need to be on sale for half what they want for this.

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Anonymous Coward

So rather like a phone contract...

... except that after 4 years (and 24 grand total) you have to give it back. I guess at least you don't have to pay it all up front, so consider it an interest-free loan.

Even at current prices, 6 grand buys quite a lot of petrol - I reckon 40,000 miles' worth for a small car like a Fiesta (~15p/mile). So you'd have to drive it a hell of a lot of miles to pay for itself - but all in bursts of ~50 miles between charging points, assuming you don't want to risk being stranded.

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WTF?

Free charging

If you work in Milton Keynes, you can charge these for free in public car parks courtesy of MK's council tax payers.

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L.B
Facepalm

So cheap for about 20 people to run then...

"How much sense that makes depends on how many miles you cover and where you live. Max out on the potential savings from not paying the congestion charge in London and use the free parking available for zero-emission-at-the-tailpipe vehicles in Westminster and it’s possible for an iOn to more than pay for itself each year."

For the other 20-30 million people this is bloody expensive!

Buy a small diesel or petrol car of about the similar size for about 33% the price, and the left over ~£15K pays for a dammed sight more than 4 years worth of tax, insurance and fuel. Plus the benefit of being able to drive ~400 miles between refills and being able to fill it again in 5 minutes anywhere in the country.

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Joke

That is a nice set of accessories

That is a nice set of accessories on the second page... Almost enough to sell the car... It would have been nice if the car matched them too...

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Paris Hilton

Hills?

I live in Bath, a town surrounded on three sides with hills as is a good part of the west country. Anyone know how these things cope with hills? Will the regenerative braking be of any use?

Pity the whole car is a ugly as sin.

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FAIL

Meh

Until battery cars become as flexible as fossil fueled ones they will remain a niche product.

1. it only does 55 miles flat out.

2. it takes 7 hours to recharge. Even the quick charge is 4.5 hours

3. 380v three phase does not currently exist as a distributed voltage in the UK

(UK mains is 415v three phase. However because of the risk associated with this high voltage you only get a single phase to your house giving you the 240v we all know and love)

Why spend silly money installing infrastructure for battery cars when the same silly money could be spent on infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell cars. Hydrogen fuel cell also has zero emissions at point of use because it is electric. The difference is that you fill up and go (for about 250 miles) then just fill up again. Sound familiar?

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Bronze badge

untitled

Rear wheel drive? Why?

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Simplicity

Motor in the rear means that it's obvious that the rear wheels are driven.

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Does the Citroen version come with the busty blonde

Or does that cost extra?

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FAIL

"380V three-phase DC charger"?

Do you actually mean DC, or do you mean three-phase?

Three-phase power *means* three differently-phased AC supplies, it cannot ever be DC.

According to the Peugeot spec sheet, the 'fast charge' system is a 330V DC supply. That is a *very* specialist supply, and you're not going to get one of those in a domestic situation.

- At 90% charge efficiency, you'd be drawing about 28.5kW from the supply to get that. Most domestic supplies have between 18 and 23kW absolute maximum available for the whole house, depending on when it was built.

(Nice to see Lithium Manganese Oxide batteries in use. I had some of those ten years ago, and they were bloody brilliant. Shame the availability was terrrible - somebody bought the lot of the small ones for DECT phones.)

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: "380V three-phase DC charger"?

Yes, we misread the spec sheet. Changed now.

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IT Angle

Here come the Clarksons.

I was about to call foul over the phrase 'a 380V three-phase DC charger' on the grounds that you cant have 3-phase DC..

But then it occurred to me that means that the charger needs a 3 phase supply (common on industrial premises but very rare for domestic users (excepting those hobbyists with proper workshops etc.). Maybe not aimed at private users; but rather for business/fleet users where a single high-power charger at work could be used by multiple vehicles during the day.

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DC charging?

If it's got a charge socket for DC, is there a cable to charge it off a USB port? I hate having to carry loads of different power adaptors when travelling.

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Great for hire schemes

I have tested one of these in NL. It's a very good drive. Extremely quiet and therefore great for music lovers. The range improves considerably if you turn of heating and air conditioning.

Here's a little video I made when the first one was unveiled in NL.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om1LvhJI0_0&hd=1

Don't think the concept is for anyone but commuters. The charging is so slow that you can't take it very far. Unless there is good network of 3 phase chargers at petrol stations on Motorways this will concept will not be a success. People that own a car to get to work want to use it at weekends and holidays too.

But it would be interesting to see holiday cottages with charge points. Just like you get cottages with wifi now.

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Go

Question for the reg readers.....

Those that know about eletrics and the like.....

This is something I have often wondered about battery powered cars.... the max range is quoted, which is fine, however what about battery degradation.....

A smartphone could have a battery life which supplies me with all my mobile needs for the circa 18 hours I am awake for and a charge over night.... however 20 months into the 2 year contract with said phone and this becomes 15 hours and progressively worse, which is fine for a phone, I am normally close to a USB port or car charger wherever I am.

Which brings me on to putting the same theory to electric cars. Also battery powered and mostly only reviewed when new and working as the box says. but 3-4 years down the line your 40 mile commute to work and back remains the same, but the car you bought which had a quoted 55 mile range suddenly becomes a 39 mile range and you need either a good pair of walkiong shoes or a mile length of flex and understanding neighbours.

Would the battery need to be replaced, because all those pennies you save on petrol could all be blown on replacement batteries.

Any long term electric car owners care to comment on this?

I'm not trying to be clever, just genuinely want to know.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Question for the reg readers.....

This is why the iOn is leased: Peugeot will pick up the tabs for new batteries should they be required.

I doubt anyone has owned a proper e-car long enough to know what happens when the battery goes.

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Boffin

re: Question for the reg readers

The Vauxhall Ampera has a novel solution to this degradation problem.

see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Volt#Battery

Basically the battery degrades when very full or very empty.. The Ampera aims to never get to those areas the State of Charge is only permitted to be within 65% of the full capacity of the battery. meaning it only uses 10.4Kwh from a 16KWH battery.. When it gets too low it self charges (petrol Generator) when plugged in and it gets too full it stops charging. It sounds simple and it is. yes it could be more weight efficient by using the full capacity but it'll need replacing so much sooner.

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