DS counts on first EV to spark excitement


The DS 3 Crossback E-Tense is the brand’s first full-electric vehicle and its launch is part of PSA Group’s electrification push that also includes the Peugeot e-208 and Opel/Vauxhall Corsa-e battery-powered hatchbacks. All three vehicles are on PSA’s multi-energy CMP architecture.

The small SUV is positioned in the premium segment, where it currently has no direct rivals, DS executives say. DS is marketing the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense as a premium vehicle, with electrification as a selling point, said DS Automobiles CEO Yves Bonnefont. “For DS, electric is a high-end powertrain,” he said. “You don’t buy an electric car because you don’t have a choice. You buy it because you are excited by the fact that it’s electric.”

Bonnefont described the E-Tense as a “future-proof” car, because many DS buyers live in urban areas that are increasingly being subject to restrictions on internal combustion engines, especially diesels.

DS says that the total cost of ownership for the E-Tense version in France, where there is a 6,000-euro purchase bonus, is lower than for a gasoline version with an automatic transmission.

According to the brand’s calculations, monthly costs for the E-Tense are 469 euros, with financing at 425 euros a month, while the gasoline version would cost 512 euros monthly, assuming financing at 395 euros a month.

The E-Tense differs from combustion versions of the DS 3 Crossback only in its drivetrain. PSA says that one of the benefits of the CMP architecture is that there is no loss of interior space or trunk volume with the electric version, as the batteries are positioned under the seats.

DS will support E-Tense customers with a suite of services intended to ease worries about range and charging station availability. A smartphone app, MyDS, allows owners to check information remotely, including charge level, range and time left to charge. Charging at home can be programmed to start when rates are lower, such as at night. And the vehicle’s cockpit can be pre-set to be cooled or heated.

Owners can also find charging stations through the app, and a trip planner creates routes that include stations. DS will also help owners install wallboxes in their homes.

All versions of the DS 3, including the E-Tense, will be built at PSA Group’s factory in Poissy, France, outside of Paris. IHS Markit forecasts 2020 production will be around 8,000 vehicles, out of around a total of 71,000 for all powertrain versions. Bonnefont confirmed that around 10 percent of orders for the DS 3 were for the E-Tense. DS says buyers in the premium small SUV segment drive an average of 40 km a day.

The Basics

Launch date: January (France)

Starting price: 39,100 euros (France)

Where built: Poissy, France

Range: 320 km (WLTP)

Fast Facts

Motor: PSA is using electric motors from Continental until it starts producing its own in 2022. The 100-kW motor in the DS3 has an output equivalent to 136 hp, and 260 newton meters of torque.

Battery: The car’s 50 kilowatt-hour lithium ion battery uses cells from the Chinese manufacturer CATL. It takes seven and a half hours to fully charge the battery with a 7.4-kilowatt single-phase plug; five hours to fully charge it with an 11-kW triple-phase wallbox; and 30 minutes to reach 80 percent with a 100-kW fast charger.

Weight: At 1525kg, the DS 3 Crossback E-Tense is 320 kg heavier than variants with internal combustion engines. The car’s battery pack weights 350 kg.

Local usage: Premium small SUV customers drive an average of 40 km a day, DS says.

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