Are you green with envy? You should be. I’ve just been driving Peugeot’s new 308 hatchback — available for the first time as a plug-in hybrid.
Order books open this month ahead of first deliveries in January and in a bold move, the standard launch colour is a striking metallic shade called Olivine Green.
You don’t pay extra either, while other shades will set you back £275.
Full metallic jacket: The 308 plug-in hybrid’s striking default coat is dubbed Olivine Green
Prices for the 308 hatchback range start at £24,000 for the 1.2-litre PureTech petrol Active Premium.
But I was driving the most powerful and expensive version — the 225 hp petrol-electric plug-in hybrid GT Premium, costing £38,800.
Linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, the car was powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine enhanced by an 81 kW electric motor and a 12.4 kWh battery which propels it from rest to 62 mph in a feisty 7.5 seconds, to a top speed of 146 mph.
Performance: The 225 hp GT Premium is powered by a 1.6-litre petrol engine enhanced by an 81 kW electric motor which propels it from rest to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds
Range: The hybrid 308 can travel for up to 37 miles in zero-emissions electric-only mode, with average CO2 emissions overall of just 26g/km — provided you do charge it up
Ray was driving the most powerful and expensive version — the 225 hp petrol-electric plug-in hybrid GT Premium, costing £38,800
It really is ‘green’ too. The car can travel for up to 37 miles in zero-emissions electric-only mode, with average CO2 emissions overall of just 26g/km — provided you do charge it up.
The less-powerful plug-in hybrid 180 hp 308 in Allure trim starts at £33,000, rising to £37,400 for the GT Premium trim. For more space, there’s a 308 SW estate from £25,200.
The new generation has a sharper look to its bold exterior, and is the first model to wear the new Peugeot roaring lion’s head emblem.
The shield-shaped logo also houses radar sensors used by the autonomous driving aids.
The smart cabin’s 3D-effect i-Cockpit configuration includes a 10in HD capacitive colour touchscreen
Features include programmable cruise control; lane-keeping assist; speed limit and traffic sign recognition; driver attention warning; and a safety brake with pedestrian and cyclist detection
All plug-in hybrid variants come with a 3.7kW onboard charger which takes 3 hrs 50 min for a full battery.
Inside the smart cabin, what hits you is the 3D-effect i-Cockpit configuration, with a 10in HD capacitive colour touchscreen.
Peugeot 308 Hybrid 225 e-EATS GT Premium
Style: Plug-in Hybrid
Power: 225 horse-power
Gears: 8-speed automatic gear-box
Wheels: 18 inch black alloy
Engine: 1.6-litre petrol engine
Electric motor: 81kW electric motor
Battery: 12.4kWh lithium ion
0 to 62mph: 7.5 seconds
Top speed: 146mph.
Top speed electric-only mode: 83mph
Range in electric only: 37 miles
Average CO2 emissions: 26g/km
Standard 3.7kW on-board charger: 3 hrs 50 mins
Optional 7.4kW charger: 1 hr 55 mins.
Latest safety features and advanced driver assist technologies include programmable cruise control; lane-keeping assist; speed limit and traffic sign recognition; driver attention warning; and a safety brake with pedestrian and cyclist detection.
A range of advanced petrol and diesel engines includes the 1.2-litre 130 hp PureTech 130 EAT8, and the 1.5-litre BlueHDi 130 EAT8 diesel, delivering 130 hp.
Active Premium-level models are diesel or petrol only, above that are Allure, Allure Premium, GT and GT Premium trim levels.
I was sceptical at first about the colour– as I still suffer that nagging thing from my parents’ generation that green is an ‘unlucky’ colour.
I needn’t have worried. People were stopping me in the street – mainly women – commenting on how they really loved the sporty stand out shade.
It has spirited ride, handling and performance. It’s not the hottest hard-core hatch, but it is comfortable.
Riding on 18 inch black alloy wheels, in electric-only mode top speed is 83mph.
Distinctive ‘sabre tooth’ daylight running lights add to the bold styling.
Compared to the model it replaces, it is 105mm longer and 16mm lower for a sleeker silhouette, but with a 55mm longer wheelbase for improved passenger space.
You grip a new compact multi-function compact steering wheel.
It has ‘piano key’ controls along with the new customisable ‘i-Toggles’. This row of tactile hi-gloss black toggle switches are designed to provide easy access to key functions and features.
Those with the plug-n hybrid of ‘PHEV’ variants like mine can use the drive mode selector to choose between Electric (providing there’s sufficient charge) , Hybrid and Sport driving modes. On petrol and diesel variants drivers choose between Eco, Normal, and Sport modes
An optional 7.4kW charger reduces charging time to 1 hr 55 mins.
Electric car sales to overtake diesel next year
Sales of electric cars will overtake those of diesels next year, the Society of Motor Manufacturers (SMMT) predicts.
It says rising demand for greener cars means more pure-electric and plug-in hybrid cars will join Britain’s roads in 2021 than during the whole of the past decade.
Volkswagen has unveiled its latest electric vehicle, the ID.5 crossover SUV (pictured) which will be priced from £47,000
In total, 271,962 new battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) were registered between 2010 and 2019.
The predictions come as Volkswagen unveiled its latest electric vehicle, the ID.5 crossover SUV, pictured left, from £47,000.
VW aims to take market share from the Tesla Model Y, which is £7,000 more. The announcement coincides with dismal sales figures showing that just 106,265 new cars were sold in October — 24.6 per cent less than 2020.
Portable charger aims to ease range anxiety
Is this the antidote to electric car ‘range anxiety’ or an inability to charge up at home?
UK firm ZipCharge has launched a portable charger, pictured, that offers an emergency boost to get your car farther if it runs out of juice.
The ZipCharge Go will be available on a monthly subscription for £49 (€57), says the provider
The Go power bank is the size of a compact suitcase and light enough to be stored in a car boot.
Launched at the Cop26 climate summit this week, it will go on sale from the end of next year, priced from £49 per month or about £800 outright.
ZipCharge says it will be a boon to those without off-street parking.
It will provide up to 20 miles of range from a half-hour charge (at 7.2kW) which, the provider says, is sufficient for the average daily commute in the UK.
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