New Citroen e-C3 Targets Affordable EV Driving

On By George Poland
New Citroen e-C3 Targets Affordable EV Driving

The next-generation Citroen C3 is set to make its debut early next year with the aim of bringing electric driving to the masses.

The brand-new e-C3 is predicted to be priced below £23,000 in the UK, offering a competitive edge over most of the lower-priced Chinese electric alternatives that have recently entered European markets such as the £25,490 BYD Dolphin.

Citroën has plans to introduce a more budget-friendly variant with a smaller battery in 2025, although it's uncertain if this model will be made available in the UK.

One of the primary factors that has contributed to the competitive pricing is the utilisation of Stellantis’ new cost-efficient Smart Car platform.

While the latest generation C3 was initially conceived as an electric vehicle, the Smart Car platform has the flexibility to support a combustion powertrain if there is enough demand, as was witnessed with the C4 X in the UK. Citroën has left room under the bonnet for a potential petrol engine option.

The compact car will be equipped with a 44kWh lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) battery pack, granting it a driving range of 199 miles. It is understood that the more economical variant will provide a range of just 124 miles.

LFP batteries offer several advantages, including lower production costs, increased longevity, and the absence of cobalt. However, LFP cells are less energy-dense than nickel manganese cobalt batteries, resulting in heavier battery packs with equivalent capacity. Additionally, LFP batteries tend to be more sensitive to external temperatures, leading to reduced charging efficiency in colder conditions.

To ensure that the car remains practical for extended journeys, it has the capability for rapid charging, achieving rates of up to 100kW, allowing for a 20-80% charge in just 26 minutes.

The e-C3 prioritises ride comfort and incorporates Citroën's cutting-edge Advanced Comfort hydraulic bump stops. In terms of performance, this electric model matches the current petrol C3. It is driven by a single motor generating 111bhp, powering the front wheels and allowing the EV to achieve 0-62mph acceleration in around 11 seconds, with a maximum speed of 84mph.

The e-C3 is not significantly larger in length or width compared to the current C3, but it is 100mm taller, enhancing headroom and creating a more commanding driving position. Passenger space is considerably improved, with Citroën claiming it offers the most generous rear knee room in its class.

A head-up display comes as standard and the higher ‘Plus’ and ‘Max’ trim levels come with a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen. The entry-level ‘You’ variant replaces the touchscreen with a smartphone dock.

A dedicated smartphone app will be developed to provide drivers with access to music, radio, calls, and navigation through their phones. The majority of core controls are managed through physical switches and buttons.

The new e-C3 displays Citroen’s new design language and is the first production car to show off the brand’s new logo. The car’s squared-off shape can be seen in the Oli concept.