Currently reading: Big SUVs could be made extinct by electrification – Peugeot boss
Box-shaped cars are "nightmare" for aerodynamics, which are vital for EV range, says Linda Jackson

Big, boxy SUVs will soon disappear from forecourts as aerodynamic designs will be favoured for future generations of electric cars, the boss of Peugeot has claimed.

Speaking at the Financial Times’ Future of the Car event, Linda Jackson suggested that as a vehicle’s range takes precedence, both by manufacturers and buyers, bigger cars will become fewer, if even obsolete.

“Gone are the days when you have a big SUV, because they're a nightmare for aerodynamics,” she added.

Currently, the French brand’s line-up features three SUVs and crossovers, with the Peugeot e-2008 the only to offer a fully electric option. The e-3008 will follow this year, but the Peugeot 5008, its largest production model, hasn't been confirmed to be getting an EV variant – and these latest comments fuel speculation that it might never.

10 Linda jackson

Instead, Peugeot could look to entice SUV owners with segment-straddling vehicles that are more aerodynamically designed but offer similar practically, such as the rakish new Peugeot 408.

Speaking previously, Jackson noted that customers for the 408 could come from the C- or D-segments. “It has become a lot more fluid,” she said.

Peugeot 408 phev paris motor show 2022

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Her most recent comments back what former Citröen boss Vincent Cobée told Autocar last year, when he claimed the SUV could be “on the verge of extinction”.

He revealed that designers are placing increasing emphasis on how slippery a car can be, with “anything which is high or squarish” more than likely not considered for reasons of aero efficiency.

“The transition to electric vehicles is going to massively increase the importance of aerodynamics,” Cobée said, looking to a “post-SUV world”. 

He added: “Because whether your car is aero or not, in the current ICE world, you just increase the fuel tank. [In the] fully electric world, you lose autonomy because of aerodynamics, so the link is much stronger. So anything which is high or squarish will have immediate penalty to its autonomy in a battery-EV world.”

Will Rimell

Will Rimell
Title: Deputy news editor

Will is a journalist with more than eight years experience in roles that range from news reporter to editor. He joined Autocar in 2022 as deputy news editor, moving from a local news background.

In his current role as deputy news editor, Will’s focus is with Autocar and Autocar Business; he also manages Haymarket's aftermarket publication CAT.

Writing is, of course, a big part of his role too. Stories come in many forms, from interviewing top executives, reporting from car launches, and unearthing exclusives.

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orothon 9 May 2023

As an owner of an EV, range isn't the issue, it's the charging infrastructure that's the problem. I can't think of many times when I'd need to drive more than a couple of hundred miles without neeing to stop, so if charging was as reliable and readily available as refuelling an ICE car then smaller range EVs would be fine.

Andrew1 9 May 2023
Not sure about that. How much range do you need to school and back?