The boldness of the Volvo BEV is not that of Peugeot and Citroen
Although Peugeot’s electrification journey in Australia is well underway and sister brand Citroën is about to follow suit, local importer Inchcape is not inclined to follow Volvo’s example in making a bold switch to battery-only electrics, and the French brands don’t have a blueprint. A local way to abolish the internal combustion engine.
Emerging brands – largely originating in China – are quickly becoming major players as Australians go all-in on driving an electric vehicle, something Volvo Cars Australia capitalized on last year by negotiating an annual supply of 20,000 all-electric models from 2026, enough to almost double sales volume compared to the record 2022 result.
Sales of Peugeot and Citroen in Australia have declined over the past decade, and brand recognition for both remains low despite a long history in this market, but neither will attempt to replicate Volvo’s ambitious switch to electric only.
Globally, Volvo will become an all-electric brand by 2030, while Peugeot and Citroen will do the same in Europe under parent Stellantis’ policy of selling only battery electric cars on the continent from the next decade (at which point the group will also target 50 per cent of Sales in North America will be zero tailpipe emission models.)
With the recent launch of the E-2008 small electric SUV and the E-Partner compact electric van joining the hybrid versions of the 508 and 308 small mid-size passenger cars, Peugeot has established a strong electric vehicle portfolio, which will expand next year with the E-208 small hatch , the E-Expert mid-size truck, the new generation of the E-3008 medium SUV, and the 408 hybrid crossover, while Citroen has been confirmed to add a hybrid version of the C5. -X in 2024.
Talk to Go with self movement At the recent E-2008 launch in Sydney, Peugeot Citroen Australia managing director Kate Gillies indicated that more electric models were in development for this market based on her visit to Citroen’s facilities in France earlier this year.
However, it denied there was any deadline for the sale of internal combustion engine models in Australia from either brand.
“The only roadmap we have is really dictated by customer demand. If there is a demand for choice, we will do what we can to provide that choice,” Ms. Gillis said.
“While there is customer demand, we will do our best to meet that demand for choice of engines.”
Meanwhile, Volvo’s bet on electric cars appears to be paying off. Year-to-date Australian sales are up 12.3 per cent and average more than 1,000 cars a month, putting it on track for another record year with 12,000 deliveries.
Of the 8,005 Volvo cars sold so far in 2023, nearly 3,000 have been battery-powered models. For context, Peugeot sold 1,649 units in the same time frame and Citroen 164 units.
A decade ago, combined Peugeot and Citroen sales exceeded Volvo sales by a significant margin, with 5,071 Peugeots and 1,702 Citroen cars finding homes in Australia in 2012 compared to 5,375 Volvos.
When Volvo launched the XC40 Recharge Pure Electric in February 2022, 46 were sold. In August this year, the number rose to 382.
In percentage terms, the electric battery option represented five per cent of XC40 sales in February 2022 – and 37 per cent last month.
When you add the size of the C40 Recharge Pure Electric to the mix, 49 per cent of Volvo 40-series models sold in Australia were electric last month, contributing to 37 per cent of the brand’s total sales to date of electric models.
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