French carmaker PSA Group is calling for the government in Paris to revive incentives for purchasing plugin hybrid vehicles in France, its biggest market.
France offers a €6,000 bonus to purchase electric vehicles (EV), while the €1,000 for hybrids ended last year.
The group says it will offer 15 electrified versions of all its new cars designed from next year.
PSA, which owns Peugeot, Vauxhall, Opel and Citroen, is planning to release eight plugin hybrid models in the next two years.
Each new PSA vehicle will now either have to include a fully electric, hybrid or plugin-hybrid option. This is similar to strategies already unveiled by Volvo, BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and other manufacturers.
PSA and Punch Powertrain have also announced they will collaborate to produce electrified dual-clutch transmissions for hybrids.
The new venture will be based at PSA’s engine and transmission factory in the eastern French city of Metz with a projected annual capacity of 600,000 transmissions after production starts in 2022.
PSA is beginning a major transition towards electrification and last year signed up for a joint venture with the Japanese supplier Nidec to design and produce electric motors from 2022.
The group said the transmissions to be produced with Punch would offer fuel savings of 15 per cent and allow a zero-emissions setting for city driving.
Punch of Sint-Truiden in Belgium started as a subsidiary of the carmaker DAF and was bought by the Chinese Yinyi Group in 2016.
Last year Punch produced more than 1 million transmissions, mostly for Asian carmakers, with PSA its first large European client.
And PSA is still hoping for state subsidies.
PSA’s government liaison chief Laurent Fabre said: “We’re asking for the reinstatement of incentives on plugin hybrid vehicles.
“Plugin hybrids, which avoid the range constraints of battery-only cars, offer the most reliable way to ‘kick-start the market’ for electrified vehicles,” Fabre said. He said the government was “attentive” to these considerations.
Renault, however, only offers all-electric models.
Assuming sales of the plugin hybrids in France double to around 20,000 annually, at €2,000, the authorities would need to spend €40 million on any incentives.
The firm said: “Groupe PSA’s five brands will offer clean mobility solutions in the form of all-electric, zero-emission vehicles or plugin hybrid emitting less than 49g/km of carbon dioxide.”
PSA said it would launch eight plugin hybrids, including the DS 7 Crossback E-tense 4×4, Peugeot 3008, Peugeot 508 and 508 SW, Citroën C5 Aircross and Vauxhall and Opel Grandland X. Additionally, seven new electric models are expected.
New hybrid Peugeots are to be expected. Picture credit: Wikimedia