Embattled French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen has had to dump further roll out plans of its Mitsubishi based electric vehicle. Called the Citroen C-Zero and the Peugeot iOn EV respectively, they are both electric vehicles based on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV built at Mitsubishi’s plant in Mizushima, Japan.
Mitsubishi and PSA came to a mutual agreement, deciding to halt production of the vehicles due to disappointingly low demand for the Mitsubishi i-MiEV based electric city cars. Since their launch, just 935 C-Zeros and 852 iOns were sold in Europe in the first half of this year. Worldwide, just 28 000 i-MiEV, C-Zero and iOn EVs have been sold since 2009. Figures Mitsubishi admit are “much lower than what we had originally hoped for.”
The word from PSA and Mitsubishi is that this production halt is only temporary, but at this stage they have not revealed when production of the small EV will resume. Based on PSA’s current financial situation we cannot see the project being green lit again for a very long time unless a major reassessment is done to make it more profitable.
When the Citroen C-Zero and Peugeot iOn EV were launched in Europe and the UK, the prices were frankly ridiculous at the equivalent of R430 000 (£33 155); roughly four times the price for a Citroen C1 or a Peugeot 107. Earlier this year PSA did knock a hefty R88 000 (£6 939) off the asking price of the two EV’s, but that has done little to instill buyer confidence in a short range car that is still more than three times more expensive than a C1 or 107.
At the end of the day PSA Peugeot Citroen only have themselves to blame. We feel for any of the 1 787 European owners who spent that amount of money on a little EV.