Peugeot and Citroen lay out blueprint for electric vehicle future

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PSA Group has outlined its plans for future EV and hybrid vehicles at its 2016 Innovation Day

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Peugeot and Citroen have outlined their plans for future plug-in hybrid and pure electric vehicles at the PSA Group Innovation Day. As well as offering a raft of powerful two- and four-wheel drive hybrids, the French brands are working on an EV with 450 km (280 mi) of range from a 50 kWh battery.

At the core of Citroen and Peugeot's (two members of PSA Group) hybrid future are two modular platforms. The EMP2 platform has been around since 2013, and will be used for mid-range cars, although it's also capable of underpinning higher-end luxury vehicles too. Meanwhile, the group will build its compact cars and SUVs on the Common Modular Platform (CMP) developed alongside Chinese brand Dongfeng.

Both platforms have been designed to handle a wide range of powertrains without eating into cabin space or ruining refinement, meaning PSA can electrify its entire range without making too many compromises.

One of those powertrains will be a new, plug-in hybrid setup that can be paired with either platform. Sedans and hatchbacks will get the 110-kg (243-lb), 12-kWh pack and an 80-kW (107-hp) electric motor, while SUVs will be fitted with a 120-kg (265-lb), 13-kWh battery pack and a 90-kW (121-hp) electric motor.

The electric motor can be fitted to the front or rear axle, and is hooked up to a petrol engine producing between 112 and 149 kW (150 and 200 hp). Details are scant at the moment, but the two components will be connected by an electric eight-speed gearbox, mounted laterally to save space.

According to PSA, two-wheel drive models will be able to deliver 261 kW (350 hp) and 360 Nm (266 lb.ft) of torque, while all-wheel drive models will develop 224 kW (300 hp) of power and in excess of 450 Nm (332 lb.ft).

Forget about power for a second, because range is arguably more important when it comes to hybrid vehicles. Current plug-in hybrid SUVs like the Volvo XC90 T8 and BMW xDrive40e offer around 30 km (18.6 mi) of zero local emissions motoring, while the Audi Q7 e-tron 2.0 TFSI can manage 51 km (33 mi).

Peugeot and Citroen's next-gen plug-in vehicles will usurp even the Q7's range, offering up 60 km (37 mi) of silent acceleration before resorting to petrol power.

Alongside the range of plug-in hybrids will be standalone electric vehicles. Peugeot has dabbled in this area before with the iON, but the new generation offerings should be far better resolved than the awkward tallboy that shared all but its badges with the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.

The EV will get its power from a 50-kWh lithium-ion battery, which weighs 300 kg (661 lb) and takes up about 200 liters (7.06 cu.ft) of space. Range is expected to be 450 km (280 mi), which is impressive considering the fact a 70-kWh Tesla Model S manages just 20 km (12 mi) more.

Clever aerodynamics is one thing, but Peugeot and Citroen are adamant the car's range is greatly improved by a new heat pump. By using the thermodynamic exchange between external air flow and compressed refrigerant fluid, the pump is said to create heat more efficiently than a regular heating system, liberating another 50 km (31 mi) of range.

If PSA Group's claims of an ultra-fast charger are to be believed you'll be able to achieve 80 percent charge in just 30 minutes, putting it on a similar level to Tesla's Supercharger network. Although there's no mention of where these chargers will be situated, we'd be surprised if they don't have some sort of connection to the Peugeot Parasol we covered last week. Alternatively, there's a 7-kW home charger that takes 9 hours to fully charge the battery.

"We have taken an ingenious and competitive approach to developing our future hybrid and electric vehicles by designing efficient, modular and multi-energy platforms," says Gilles Le Borgne, Executive Vice President of Research and Development at PSA. "In practical terms, plug-in hybrid powertrains will be developed on the EMP2 platform and will equip mid-range and executive models. We will market seven petrol plug-in hybrids by 2021, with the first scheduled for launch in 2019."

"New-generation electric powertrains will be designed on a small new platform developed with our Chinese partner DFM. They will equip vehicles ranging from small city cars to compact SUVs and core sedans. Four new electric vehicles will be marketed by 2021, with the first scheduled for launch in 2019."

Source: PSA Group

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