Peugeot Australia is poised to introduce a range of plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles to sell alongside its petrol-powered range in a bold attempt to attract new buyers by reacting quickly to our changing taste in cars.
Over the next five years, every model in the Peugeot line-up will have the option of hybrid or electric power – but head office in France says it will let the local distributor decide which models to sell here.
Peugeot is about to release overseas a plug-in hybrid version of its 3008 SUV – with 50km of electric driving range before the petrol engine takes over – but others will follow.
“In the coming years each and every time we launch a new car there will be an electrified version available, whether it is pure electric or a plug-in hybrid,” the global boss of the Peugeot brand, Jean-Philippe Imparato, told a briefing with Australian media. “But which ones come to Australia will be decided by the local team.”
The managing director of Peugeot Cars Australia, Ben Farlow, said the local distributor would learn from the shift in buyer preferences in Europe before choosing which models to import here.
“The good news is we can decide and be heavily influenced by consumer demand,” said Mr Farlow. “We will learn from Europe’s experience and that puts us in quite an advantageous position versus our competitors. We can move quickly (as demand for electric cars) starts to grow.”
“We won’t be using electric vehicles as a PR or marketing exercise, we will do it seriously,” said Mr Farlow. “We won’t put an electric vehicle in the market unless we’re confident it can sell and we’re confident there is genuine customer demand rather than (purely) an exercise around brand building.”
Mr Farlow added: “When we launch electric vehicles or (plug-in hybrids) into this market we will do it seriously. We’re in a position that’s the envy of many others across our portfolio,” he said, pointing to Peugeot's range of future passenger cars, SUVs and vans that will all have the option of hybrid or pure electric power.
Peugeot has recently unveiled a pure electric 208 hatchback (pictured above and below) and 2008 SUV in Europe, both of which are made on modular platforms that can accomodate electric, petrol or diesel power options.
However, plug-in hybrids are expected to be available on more models across the future Peugeot range, especially on the brand’s SUVs and vans.