Fleet operators will be able to take out a four-year lease on the Peugeot Ion electric vehicle when it launches in the UK next year.
The lease, through Peugeot Contract Hire, will be set as £415 per month over four years/40,000 miles excluding VAT, but includes the £5,000 government subsidy for electric vehicles as well as all servicing and maintenance.
Peugeot fleet director Phil Robson said the company decided to lease the vehicles because of potential anxiety from customers over residual values.
He told Fleet News that when plans began to sell the Ion in the UK the company set up an internal brainstorming session to thrash out the negative aspects associated with EVs and sought to put in place consumer offers to help mitigate any concerns.
Peugeot is also promising an extra 30% range with its Ion compared to its sister vehicle, the Mitsubishi i-Miev.
According to Peugeot, improved aerodynamics on its Ion, which are supplied by Mitsubishi, along with more advanced level of energy recuperation as well as a policy to allow the vehicles to run to 5% of remaining battery charge compared with Mitsubishi’s 10% gives the Ion a potential range of 95 miles.
Robson said Peugeot expects to sell a maximum of 500 Ions next year in the UK – with numbers dictated by supply of the vehicles – with fleets, and in particular public sector organizations, taking the lion’s share of sales.
After four years, Peugeot will then offer the vehicles on lease as used vehicles with the same full service and maintenance package and four-year warranty as if buying new, but at a lower monthly rate expected to be set at around £330 per month.
He said: “We began by looking at how we wanted the Ion to be viewed as a used vehicle, and then designed the new vehicle offer based on how we could arrive at that.”
He confirmed that if a customer did want to purchase an Ion outright, they would be able to, but would not state the price of the vehicles. However, he said none of the enquiries about the vehicle so far had been about purchase.
Robson also said Peugeot was in talks with “three or four” independent leasing companies in the UK about offering the Ion in the UK.
He said it would allow Peugeot to be introduced to customers that don’t already offer their vehicles and establish a relationship before the company’s diesel-electric hybrid cars arrive, starting with the 3008 Hybrid4 in summer 2011 and 508 Hybrid4 in 2012, both of which will offer 200bhp with CO2 emissions of 99g/km.
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