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Citroën will reveal a futuristic electric C3 for less than 20,000 euros

We risk “taking part in the expropriation of private transportation,” says Vincent Cobb. “The future of the automobile is not in an electric SUV weighing 2.2 to 2.5 tons for 50-60,000 euros”, the director of Citroen emphasized in an interview. challenge, Added: “This is possible for the elite of Parisian senior executives, but it does not meet the individual mobility needs of Europeans”. This is why “Citroën wants to create affordable electric cars”. Even if it means accepting “less autonomy”.

Vincent Kobe thus promises a future (small) zero-emission Citroen C3 – a priority set for 2023 – “below the 20,000 euro mark”! And this, a Peugeot 208 electric city car within the same Stellantis group, is being offered today from… 33,950 euros. Citroën therefore wants to do (almost) the same as Dacia, whose electric spring, the cheapest zero-emission car offered in France, starts at 18,690 euros. An electric Renault Twingo E-Tech appears today at a much higher price, 23,150 euros (in the basic version). So Citroen wants to hit hard.

Shared substrata with Indo-Brazilian C3

This futuristic small urban vehicle from the Herringbone firm, which will also be available in a petrol version, will share its underpinnings with the new Indian and South American C3, which will have a commercial launch in the summer of 2022. Production has now started. In Puerto Real (Rio State, Brazil) and soon to start in the suburbs of Chennai (India). The price (with a gasoline engine) will be “7-8,000 euros in India”, “8 to 12,000 in Brazil”, underlines Vincent Kobe. Reserved for emerging countries (C-Cubed project, this unprecedented C3, barely 3.98 meters long – more than 4 meters, taxes are higher in India -, but high on the legs to face bad roads, resting on the new CMP platform of Peugeot 208 and 2008 but Citroën C4, in a simplified version, which would serve as the basis for the later European C3.

This CMP is much more modern than the old C3 platform 1 currently sold on the old continent. “We can use the platform in Europe by taking the lessons learned from India’s efficient development”, assures Vincent Kobe. European C3 IV would adopt many visible and invisible elements of Indo-Brazilian C3, but would be visually different, underlining an internal source. This future car should be produced in Slovakia, like the current one, for the European market. All these productions will allow great economies of scale. “This makes it possible to develop a competitive European C3”. The C3 range (petrol) starts at €15,380 in France today.

The price increases with that value

“The average selling price of a car in Europe is 25-27,000 euros”, specifies the leader of Citroën. However, “the customer will not be there if the price rises by at least 10,000 euros”. For the power shift to truly affect the majority of motorists, it needs to be democratized. And this, while everything contributes to making the vehicle more expensive. Not just the cost of the battery, but “an increase of €500-1,000 per vehicle in raw material costs in 2021 alone”. tough challenge

The fact remains that these next zero-emission models, even at unbeatable prices for electric cars, will still be far more expensive than today’s gasoline cars. But the thermal model’s price will also skyrocket with the future and tougher Euro 7 standard, which Brussels plans for January 2027 – not yet fixed, to the chagrin of engineers. “We can reach a situation where, with these future standards, thermal gasoline models are not cheaper than electric ones”, specifies Vincent Koby. One thing is certain, in any case: average prices will rise. Problem: “There must be customers in the end”!

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