Production of the Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero – both the Mitsubishi i-MiEV under the skin – has been halted by Mitsubishi.
The Peugeot iOn EV arrived at the Frankfurt Motor Show three years ago and the Citroen C-Zero EV arrived a few months later, heralding PSA’s arrival in the EV market with a car based on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
But the prices were frankly horrible at £33,155, more than four times what you’d have to pay for a Citroen C1 or a Peugeot 107 with the 1.0 litre petrol engine.
It didn’t take PSA long to work out that the prices were so silly no one was going to buy, and in March this year they announced a price cut of £6,939, taking the price of the iOn and C-Zero down to £26,216 (£21,216 after the taxpayer bribe for EV buyers), a price still more than three times that of a C1 or 107.
But it seems even that drastic price cut isn’t enough to revive sales with just 935 C-Zeros and 852 iOns finding buyers in Europe in the first six months of 2012. Sensibly, Mitsubishi has now halted production of the iOn and C-Zero.
When will car makers realise that if they can’t make EVs compete on price they don’t have a prayer of making them a mainstream offering, even for car buyers who only ever use their cars in confined urban environments?