The PSA Group is predicting tenfold growth in global sales of plug-in cars to around 10 million units by 2025 and promises that by then every one of its models will be offered as either a plug-in hybrid or electric car.
Alexandre Guignard, PSA's group director of low-emission vehicles, told Autocar that all of the brands are "technologically ready to play our part in the coming energy transition".
His teams, based in a special prototype plant at Sochaux in eastern France, have spent years reorganising the group’s manufacturing systems so that each plant specialises in models from one of two modular platforms: LMP2 for family-sized cars and SUVs and CMP for smaller cars.
From next year, PSA will offer a plug-in hybrid or electric version of every new model. It expects to launch 15 of these between now and 2021, concentrating on electric for the CMP cars and plug-in hybrid for the LMP2 ones.
All models have been engineered for maximum manufacturing commonality between standard and electrified models, and their interior packaging is identical.
The first plug-in hybrid model on LMP2 architecture will be the DS 7 Crossback E-Tense 4x4, which is due early next year. Seven other models using the same powertrain, including the Peugeot 508 and 508 SW, Peugeot 3008, Opel/Vauxhall Grandland X and Citroën C5 Aircross, will gradually follow to 2021.
These models will use a 1.6-litre Puretech petrol engine mounted transversely in the nose, producing around 200bhp alone and driving through an eight-speed Aisin automatic gearbox. Two 110bhp electric motors, one front and one rear, work with the engine to provide around 300bhp of peak performance, which yields 0-62mph acceleration of 6.5sec. A front-wheel-drive version features a 180bhp version of the Puretech 1.6 with one 80kW motor and a 13kWh battery.
Fully charged, the lithium ion traction battery carried under the rear seat gives an electric-only range of up to 31 miles, while official CO2 output is 49g/km. In real-world terms, says Guignard, the 7 Crossback E-Tense 4x4 is around 40% more frugal than its conventional petrol equivalent.
PSA predicts that the biggest expansion in electric car demand between now and 2025 will be in Europe, where take-up will expand 13-fold to 3.6 million units. In China and North America, sales are tipped to grow eight times, to 4.7m and 1.7m units respectively.