The mechanical layout is straightforward. CMP is a steel monocoque with MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. As with combusted models, the electric motor sits beneath the bonnet, along with its inverter and other ancillaries, and drives the front wheels, with no 4WD option. Such is the way of small crossovers/SUVs that you don’t even ask about four-wheel drive these days.
The 50kWh battery, smaller than the 64kWh ones you’d find in aHyundai Kona ElectricorKia e-Niro, sits where the gearbox would otherwise be, down the centre line, and in an H-shape beneath the seats, so doesn’t impinge on passenger space. It gives a WLTP range of 193 miles. You can charge it at 100kW from a DC fast charger, with up to 7.4kW from a single-phase AC wallbox that you can have fitted as part of the deal. Via a DC fast charge, you can put 80% charge into the battery in half an hour, while a full charge is 7.5 hours from a 7.4kW box – so overnight, really. (There’s an optional 11kW charger if you have three-phase power, but most UK supplies are single phase. In which case, the 11kW option actually takes ages because the car can only charge through one of the three phases – so 11 divided by three, or 3.7kW. Yes, bit complicated. We’ll get used to it.) The battery is warrantied for eight years and, come resale time, Peugeot will give you a battery capacity certificate that will eventually be just another part of buying a used car: ‘Does it have service history, outstanding finance, has it been nicked, and how much life is left in the battery?’
Anyway, to drive, there’s not a vast difference in character between an e-2008 and a thermal model. The 134bhp motor has the advantage in that torque – 221lb ft of it – is available pretty much immediately and seamlessly. The e-2008 doesn’t arrive until four months after the ICE versions so was still, technically, a pre-production car, but you wouldn’t really know it.
On the downside, the whole caboodle weighs 300kg more than an auto petrol, so body control is more loose. Because the centre of gravity is, presumably, lower than in an internally combusted 2008, Peugeot hasn’t tried to tie it down to contain body movements, so the ride’s reasonable – not always a given on EVs – but if you want dynamism, an e-2008 isn’t for you. If you cared about dynamics that much, you probably wouldn’t be looking at a compact SUV anyway, though.
Should I buy one?
The e-2008 finds itself as an unusual proposition. This is one of thebest compact crossoversthere is (not a high bar, granted) and with an electric option that is deliberately un-weird.
I’m still waiting for a small SUV that really sets new standards and, if you like driving, I still think you’d be better off with a lower car that is nicer to drive. But the e-2008 has distilled things to a simple proposition: if you like a 2008, does a zero-emission variant suit the way you’ll use the car? As Guillaume Clerc, the chief engineer on the 208 and 2008 projects, says: “If we can’t sell electric 208s or 2008s, the world isn’t ready for EVs.” My guess is that it’ll do just fine.
Peugeot e-2008 specification
WhereFrance Price£32,000 (after government grant) On saleApril 2020 EnginePermanent magnet synchronous electric motor Power136bhp Torque192-221lb ft GearboxSingle speed automatic Kerb weight1500kgTop speed93mph0-62mphtbcRange 193-217 miles CO20g/kmRivalsHyundai Kona Electric,Kia e-Niro, other Peugeot 2008s