We’ve heard it from the CEO herself, Linda Jackson, that while outright sporty versions of all Peugeots are no longer the plan, anything Peugeot makes has to be good to drive. I’m happy to report that this e-208 meets those criteria. At medium speeds it feels every bit the supermini, though as you push on, you’ll begin to notice the added mass. It’s not so much that the car is rolling – the battery is in the floor, so the centre of gravity is low – but you feel the tyres struggling underneath you with the extra 400+ kg the electric version brings. Happily, the steering is pleasant and the simplicity and relaxation of electric power around town is a delight. Needless to say the instant torque delivery when pressing on is always entertaining.
Any gripes when not driving like a fool? Under braking, the handover from regenerative to pad-on-disc is a little disconcerting, with a momentary runaway feeling.
Secondly? This is more a general EV thing, but the range drop when using the car at speeds over 60mph is dramatic. Even with the new and improved battery, with its 248-mile WLTP-certified range, motorway driving will lop 100 miles off the top of that. A few long runs to Silverstone and Norwich meant I was planning a charging stop with every journey, but the 100kW charging speeds meant that 80 per cent was never more than a half-hour charge away at my local zapping hole.
Nevertheless, I’ll only be truly comfortable with an EV once we’re getting 200 miles of driving at motorway speeds in cold conditions. The little Pug manages in almost all localised use cases, but you’re going to want to know what the charging network is like on all but your least frequent routes. I wonder if a potential 300-mile capable Renault 5 debuting next year will give Peugeot something serious to think about on this front…