Driving report: Peugeot E-308: Concentration on the essentials

Actually, it was only a matter of time before the Peugeot 308 was fully powered.

Driving report: Peugeot E-308: Concentration on the essentials

Actually, it was only a matter of time before the Peugeot 308 was fully powered. Finally, the technology of the EMP2 platform enables the French compact car to be brought onto the market as a battery-electric variant. But simply packing an electric motor into the attractive body is not that easy. Finally, competition is also getting tougher among electric vehicles and competitors from China are pushing their way into Central Europe.

So there has to be a compelling argument so that drivers choose the E-308 and not a horsepower usurer from the Middle Kingdom. Peugeot focuses on comfort and efficiency. To improve aerodynamics, the technicians changed the front of the car and installed additional spoilers behind the closed radiator grille and in front of the wheels to improve airflow. The subfloor is also smoothed. In addition to the slipperiness, which reduces fuel consumption, wind noise along the body is also reduced. The passengers are happy about this, because the interior of the Peugeot E-308 is very quiet. The large glass roof also provides pleasant light.

The ambience is simple but pleasant. The infotainment with the 10-inch touchscreen avoids showmanship and shows that it is possible to make the interaction between humans and machines easy, even without monster tablets and hordes of developers. The infotainment is easy to use and you can quickly find the information you are looking for. Integrating the smartphone via Apple CarPlay worked without any problems. The fact that the French like to be different is evident from the fact that the digital instrument panel is located above the steering wheel. However, the arrangement is not disturbing.

There is enough space at the front. The second row is much tighter and you don't want to expect adults to have to travel longer distances. The trunk has a capacity of 361 liters. If you fold down the backrests of the back seat, a slightly rising loading area is created and the volume increases to 1,271 liters.

The battery consists of 17 modules and is located in the underbody, which of course results in a low center of gravity. The energy storage units have a capacity of 54 kilowatt hours (net: 51 kWh), which is sufficient for a maximum range of 415 kilometers (according to the WLTP cycle). To achieve this efficiency, the batteries now consist of 80 percent nickel and ten percent each of manganese and cobalt. But the energy storage is only part of the drive train. In order for an electric vehicle to move forward economically, an efficient electric motor is also necessary. To ensure that the electric motor is both quiet and has enough power, the engineers made a technology change from permanent magnet to a hybrid magnet winding.

In addition to the smooth running already mentioned, the electric motor in the Peugeot E-308 creates 115 kW / 308 hp and a torque of 270 Newton meters. Even nominally a difference to the horsepower of other manufacturers. Even on the road, the French electric car isn't necessarily a bundle of temperament, and the differences between the three driving modes Eco, Normal and Sport are not particularly pronounced. Even in the dynamic program there is more discount in the digital display than on the road. The usual electric punch is only noticeable to a limited extent. Nevertheless, you can travel quickly enough with the electric lion. The E-308, which weighs 1,810 kilograms (including the driver who weighs 75 kilograms), reaches highway speeds from a standstill in 9.8 seconds and can reach speeds of up to 170 km/h. The Peugeot E-308 behaves neutrally and well-natured in the corners. It goes without saying that the chassis is comfortably tuned and the steering feels indifferent.

The positive other side of the coin is efficiency. After our test drive, which also took us along motorways and country roads, the on-board computer reported an average consumption of just 15.6 kWh/100 km. This corresponds exactly to the Peugeot factory specification. When charging, the E-308 delivers average results. While the three-phase 11 kW onboard charger fills the batteries from zero to 100 percent in five and a half hours, DC power charging has a maximum of 100 kW. This means that the batteries are filled from 20 to 80 percent within 27 minutes. All that remains is the price. At 47,440 euros, the Peugeot E-308 is not a special offer. But this is also the case with other compact class electric vehicles.