Published on July 30th, 2020 |
by Steve Hanley
July 30th, 2020 by Steve Hanley
PSA Group is quietly, patiently, and thoughtfully pursuing a goal of building sales of battery electric vehicles while continuing to make money — not an easy task today with the disruption to markets caused by the coronavirus. According to Forbes, the company logged a €595 million profit in the first half of this year. The company’s e-208 — a battery electric vehicle built on the same chassis as several other models in the 208 family — is selling quite well. In June, the e-208 accounted for 17% of all sales in the 208 family.
This week, PSA announced it has developed a new dedicated platform for battery electric vehicles. Think of it as the Volkswagen MEB platform with a French accent. Dubbed eVMP, it will be the foundation for new electric models from PSA in the C and D sectors of the market from 2023 forward. “With this eVMP platform, Groupe PSA once again demonstrates its ability to innovate by developing for its customer’s state-of-the-art and affordable technologies thanks to the frugality that has enabled a significant reduction in R&D and industrial investments.”
“This global platform will make it possible to offer a range of vehicles that are perfectly respectful of the environment, meeting the changing expectations of our customers and guaranteeing driving pleasure and safety on board, values that are the basis of the Group’s reputation today,” says Nicolas Morel, research and development director for PSA Group.
eVMP concentrates all of PSA’s engineering know-how into a package that can support battery sizes of between 60 and 100 kWh. The goal is to permit at least 50 kWh of battery capacity per meter of length between the front and rear wheels. That means the cars built using the eVMP chassis should have a range of between 400 km and 650 km using the WLTP standard depending on the size, weight, and style of the body that sits on top of the platform. The company adds that the eVMP chassis could support hybrid derivatives in certain markets to meet local needs and market demands, according to EV Obsession.
Matthias Schmidt, publisher of the European Electric Car Report, tells Forbes PSA has insisted its EV strategy would be profitable from the very first car it sold, and so far that seems to be happening. “PSA’s profitable course to compliance is turning out to be a great move and proves it is not all about BEVs.”
The merger between PSA Group and FCA is moving forward. When complete, the new company will be known as Stellantis although each of the parent companies will continue to offer cars under their existing brand names. PSA seems to have the recipe for selling electric cars profitably. Hopefully some of that expertise will rub off on its new business partner.