Arriving in Ireland to coincide with the annual Citroën dealer conference, Citroën Ireland, part of the Gowan Auto group, hosted the senior Management team of Stellantis, specifically Citroën CEO Thierry Koskas, who 2 days earlier revealed the new ë-C3 to the world’s media.
Taking the opportunity to address Irish media, Koskas emphasised his ambition for the Citroën brand in Ireland, specifically his vision for growing the Citroën share of passenger car and light commercial vehicles in Ireland. Key to this is making electric vehicles more affordable and accessible to Irish consumers, who up to now have found the price point of entry level EV’s prohibitive.
When asked by Irish journalists how Citroën intend to achieve such affordable pricing, Koskas commented:
"There is no secret, no magic, it’s down to several things. First, it’s a new platform which has been designed from the ground up for electric power. Second, we’re introducing a new battery technology, which is a lithium-iron phosphate battery, and we are the first in the Stellantis Group to do so. And then we have optimised all of the technical elements of the car, we have reviewed everything that is in the car.
We will build the new ë-C3 in Europe, in our factory in Slovakia that builds the current generation C3. It is probably one of the most efficient factories we have in Europe and if you compare the new ë-C3, then the time we need to make one is cut by 25 per cent, so we have simplified a lot of the manufacturing.”
Customers are expected to have a choice of two trim levels, reflecting Citroën’s commitment to simplifying the range with an additional 5 options on offer. New Citroën ë-C3 will launch first in 2024 with a 44kWh lithium-iron phosphate battery, allowing a 320km range, while Koskas mentions a 200km range battery and a potential €19,900 starting price will arrive at a later date. The Citroën CEO also mentioned that although pricing across Europe will be low, Ireland may experience slightly different pricing due to local taxation variances, however he remains confident that with the continuation of Government grants and VRT reliefs, it will still be possible to reach a sub €25,000 price.
Premium technology such as the new heads-up display and a 10.25-inch touchscreen are present in new ë-C3, alongside Citroën’s new generation ‘Advanced Comfort’ seats fitted as standard. Plus, in a first for a B segment car, the ë-C3 also receives Citroën’s ‘Advanced Comfort’ suspension, as fitted to the ë-C4 and the C5 X, emphasising the brands continued focus on comfort.
The new ë-C3 received a hugely positive reaction from the Irish motoring press ; in particular, its’ handsome looks and high spec levels, far-beyond what you’d expect of a model with such an affordable price.