From the PEUGEOT VLV to the New PEUGEOT e-2008, the tale of an electric revolution

Electric propulsion was used by a few manufacturers in the early days of the car, but was quickly abandoned in favour of oil. PEUGEOT was studying it as early as 1902 to power delivery vehicles. A few models were produced, but the project was left by the wayside. PEUGEOT always remained on standby…
The first PEUGEOT electric vehicle marketed in 1941 was called the VLV (Véhicule Léger de Ville – Light City Vehicle). During the Second World War, petrol rationing meant that alternative energy sources needed to be found, and PEUGEOT was the only major manufacturer to take an interest in this means of propulsion. The VLV was built in Paris from June 1941 to February 1943 (377 units).
In the 70s and 80s, always on the lookout for new technologies, PEUGEOT joined forces with Alstom and EDF (Electricté de France) to offer electric propulsion on PEUGEOT 104 prototypes (4 coupes and 3 vans), then on PEUGEOT J5 and J9 utility vehicles. In 1983, a new programme began involving the PEUGEOT 205, which stemmed from collaboration between PSA and SAFT (batteries). The PEUGEOT 205 was the start of the PEUGEOT 106 ῍series programme῍. A unique, full-scale experience is then attempted: to make a fleet of electrified PEUGEOT 106 available to customers – via a self-service system. Thus was born, in December 1993, the campaign ῍50 electric vehicles at La Rochelle῍.
From 1990 to 2010, a few concept cars illustrated PEUGEOT’s continuous interest in developing electric propulsion: ION (first of its name) in 1994, TULIP and Touareg in 1996, the original BB1 concept presented in Frankfurt in 2009 and the fabulous EX1 concept of 2010, which holds 6 international acceleration records achieved in Montlhéry and China.
At the dawn of the 21st century, the car was facing major upheaval. The energy transition was becoming an essential part in the fight to mitigate climate risks. In 2019, the PEUGEOT Brand launched a complete range of vehicles with low or zero CO2 emissions. This technological push is based on 3 pillars: Serenity, Pleasure, Simplicity. With the same ambition from the outset: to make mobility safe, clean and accessible to the greatest number of users.
Serenity because the PEUGEOT range will be 50% electrified in 2020 and 100% in 2025. Pleasure, because it will always be part of PEUGEOT’s DNA. Like the 508 PEUGEOT SPORT ENGINEERED Concept, which heralded the development of a high-performance electrified line of production vehicles. And lastly, Simplicity, because the choice of silhouette does not dictate its use.

Nine months after the launch of the new PEUGEOT e-208, the brand’s showroom is now home to a wide range of electrified models: e-208, e-2008, 508 HYBRID and 3008 HYBRID4 for passenger vehicles; e-Expert, E-Traveller and soon e-Boxer for commercial vehicles. The electric revolution has well and truly begun.
PEUGEOT VLV (1941), simple ingenuity
Faced with the German occupation and shortages, in 1941 PEUGEOT proposed a unique alternative for the time: the VLV, for “Véhicule Léger de Ville – Light City Vehicle”, a small car designed for an efficient electric drive train. This was the first PEUGEOT electric vehicle and was a mini cabriolet with two offset seats. This economical vehicle, designed for urban use, is intended to meet the transport needs of those whose vehicle had been requisitioned or could not be driven due to a lack of rationed and very expensive fuel. Designed as a “cyclecar”, with a wide track at the front and a narrow track at the rear, the VLV runs on electricity using batteries stored in the front trunk, and an electric motor without a differential that manages the rear wheels. Its range was 70 to 80 km at speeds up to 35 km/h. It was mostly used by postal workers or doctors. 377 PEUGEOT VLVs were produced between 1941 and 1943 at the La Garenne factory in the Paris region.
PEUGEOT 106 ELECTRIC (1993), ahead of its time
As the first major European manufacturer to have marketed electric vehicles to local authorities and companies in 1989 (J5), PEUGEOT started marketing electric cars to private individuals in July 1995 with the “106 ELECTRIC”. This commercial la…