– PEUGEOT will be launching its electrification strategy in the region with the 3008 PHEV SUV
– Scrupulous testing on the way for other models to enter the region
When that crazy of a year 2020 ended, and 2021 well on its way, we asked ourselves, what are some of the manufacturers planning for the Middle East. First up in our series is PEUGEOT. If you are asking what has PEUGEOT got to do with EVs and PHEVs, well obviously you haven’t seen the award winning (Electric Small Car of the Year award by What Car? and a ton of others) PEUGEOT e-208.
We reached out to PEUGEOT, and Ahmed Khalifa, Regional Head of Product MEA gave us some insights into the EV world and what the French company has in mind for the region.
The Middle East market is slowly gaining momentum in the adoption of electric vehicles. We are seeing more electric cars on the roads, more incentives to encourage people to buy, and we see more EV launches taking place. International companies like LUCID have massive investments from Saudi Arabia, so yes, we are getting there. But one thing we have noticed is, that out of the handful of EV vehicles available, there is a big gap in the moderately priced vehicles. Adding to this, Khalifa said, “The EV market is indeed growing in the region with many automakers looking at methods to introduce an alternative to internal combustions engines (ICE). In parallel with this, Peugeot has begun exploring electric mobility as well with the development of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and in the future, fully electric versions of popular cars already in the line-up. One model being introduced for 2021 in the GCC will be the PEUGEOT 3008 PHEV, our answer to changing customer habits and industry trends.”
One major announcement the company made a while ago, the company has a global strategy towards full electrification by 2025, and their plans for the Middle East will follow suit.
Khalifa adds, “The introduction of new models including Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) is expected to commence in the Middle East over the next two years and this timeline will ultimately be dependent on the readiness of the markets.”
One of the best things we received feedback from PEUGEOT on is that there are plans to bring over, the car I personally would love to drive, the PEUGEOT e-208. But to bring any car over to the Middle East, especially the GCC, the car must go through its own ‘boot camp.’ The company must conduct tests on the cars, so it runs smoothly without giving out leaving you stranded when its 50 degrees. Thus, it requires some investment on the OEM’s part.
Khalifa explains, “Our priority for both EVs and ICE models is to ensure that they can withstand the harsh climate in the Middle East. We carry out extensive hot weather testing to ensure that every single model is ready for the region so that we guarantee our customers drive away the very best products.
From handling to air conditioning, all new models must be able to perform in the hot and humid climates of the Middle East before they are introduced to the public. This is no different to EVs which undergo the same types of tests albeit with a focus on battery and powertrains performance.
With regards to investment, the 3008 PHEV is not the only hybrid/electric model PEUGEOT is working on. There are a number of models currently undergoing testing including the e-2008 and e-208, passenger cars as well as the e-Partner and e-Expert LCV range. In order to roll these cars out in the Middle East significant validation and compliance testing is being undertaken.”
When we asked about possible incentives that PEUGEOT may look to attract customers with, Ahmed Khalifa raised a great point. That is, many customers here still do not realize the benefits of owning an EV. Though many countries here offer free charging, parking, etc., the reduction in cost of ownership is an incentive enough in itself.
“While these kinds of policies provide a great incentive for customers to transition to EVs, aspects of the vehicles themselves as well as aftersales offerings can act as an incentive for Middle East customers. For instance, customers can save an average of $800 to $1,000 a year on fuelling costs over an equivalent gasoline-powered car. Once this notion is generally understood, it could be a powerful reason for people to change from ICE to EV.
To further allay uncertainty about the cost of servicing an EV – which for many people is an unknown liability as they may be new to EVs – PEUGEOT is providing an eight-year/ 100,000KM warranty on the battery, giving peace of mind to customers and helping them to make the change.”
There you have it folks, looks like we will be seeing more from the lion bearing EV and PHEVs arriving to our shores soon. With the first vehicle that we are hoping to test drive being the PEUGEOT 3008 PHEV.
The PEUGEOT 3008 PHEV is a particular milestone for us in our efforts towards electric mobility. It is powered by a 1.6 litre turbo-charged petrol engine with an output of 200 hp and 380 Nm of torque which is coupled to an electric motor that makes 100 hp and 320 Nm of torque. With a combined output of 300 hp, and a pure electric range up to 48 kilometres (depending on driving conditions and temperature), the 3008 PHEV is our most powerful and most advanced SUV to date.
The hybrids will be the first of waive of their electrification strategy to roll out here. We will toot our horn when we get that lovely looking hybrid SUV for a spin.