The Citroen C5 Aircross Plug-In Hybrid SUV: The Complete Guide For India

C5 Aircross Plug-In Hybrid India
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: SUV
Battery size: 13.2 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 34 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 32 g


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

For those keen on an overview of the global electric vehicle (EV) market and the different types of electric vehicles (EVs), simply scroll down to the end of the article!


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The Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV SUV


Citroen is a leading French automobile manufacturer, now owned by Netherlands based Stellantis N.V., which was formed by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Italian/ American) and Groupe PSA (French). Stellantis owns a diverse and comprehensive portfolio of leading automotive brands, to include, Maserati, Opel, Peugeot, Jeep, FIAT, Alfa Romeo etc. The Citroen electric vehicle (EV) portfolio includes both, battery-electric vehicle (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) models: 

The Citroen C5 Aircross SUV has been manufactured since 2017. The concept Aircross vehicle was unveiled at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show. Sales in Europe commenced in 2018.

The distinctive exterior styled C5 Aircross PHEV SUV is worth consideration for those individuals, families and corporate drivers keen on a spacious plug-in electric SUV, but at more affordable prices. As is the case for electric driving, there is significant room for financial savings when driven on e-mode.

Driving on electric mode can cost as little as 5 pence per mile, significantly lower than using a petrol or diesel engine. Moreover, taking advantage of the electric drivetrain, powered by the onboard EV battery, can also improve the fuel economy of the vehicle. Citroen claims that the C5 Aircross PHEV has a fuel economy up to 166 mpg, considerably better than the equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) variant.

The C5 plug-in hybrid SUV has a 13.2 kWh onboard EV battery, with a WLTP certified range up to 34.1 miles. Both the size of the EV battery and the claimed range, is what we have now come to expect of most PHEVs currently available in the market.

Even taking into account factors that will reduce the claimed electric driving range, the PHEV should be able to delivery close to 30 electric miles on a fully recharged EV battery i.e. more than sufficient for most driving needs. Of course, the key is to keep the EV battery charged and adopting a good habit of ‘topping up’ on a regular basis, will be imperative in taking advantage of all that the electric drivetrain has to offer!

Another way to improve the efficiency of an EV is to take advantage of the regenerative braking profiles on offer. Getting used to regen braking does not take time! The automotive manufacturer claims a fuel economy up to 166 mpg, but achieving anything close to this, will require taking advantage of the e-mode!

The C5 PHEV has a lower tailpipe emissions (32g CO2/km) compared to the equivalent combustion engine variant.

The Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV combines a combustion engine with an electric motor (80 kW). The performance of the electric vehicle (EV) is not going to help you win the Formula 1, but is adequate for the affordable price tag. The front-wheel drive EV can achieve 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds. Total available power is 225 HP and 250 Nm torque. Top speed is 140 mph.

In terms of practicality, the plug-in hybrid SUV has much to offer. The EV is spacious for adults seated in the front and rear. The visibility from the driver seat is good and despite the placement of the EV battery, the boot space is 460 L. The interior quality and specification is adequate and reflects the retail price of the vehicle.


PROS CONS
A practical and spacious electric vehicle for familiesExterior styling not to everyones liking
Comfortable to driveInfotainment system can be improved
Ample boot space11 kW on board charger not a standard option

Gallery


The Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV SUV(credit: Citroen)


Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).

In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant!


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Vehicle Type:SUV
Engine:Petrol/ Electric
Available In India:No

Trims (2 Options)
Shine
Shine Plus

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery sizes (13.2 kWh)
Charging:On board charger: 7 kW Standard/ 11kW AC available as an option
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:32g (CO2/km)
Battery Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
  • Note 1: SoC: state of charge

Dimensions
Height (mm):1670
Width (mm):1859
Length (mm):4500
Wheelbase (mm):2730
Turning Circle (m):10.7
Boot Space (L):460

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

C5 Aircross Plug-In Hybrid
EV Battery Capacity:13.2 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):34.1 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):156
Fuel Consumption (mpg):166 (WLTP)
Charging:On board charger: 7 kW Standard/ 11kW AC available as an option
Top Speed:140 mph
0-60 mph:8.7 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Electric Motor (kW):80 (electric)
Horsepower (hp):180 (225 combined)
Torque (Nm):250
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Minimum Kerb Weight (kg):1,770
Colours:7
NCAP Safety Rating:Four-Star

Global Electric Vehicle (EV) Market


Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), more commonly referred to simply as, electric vehicles (EVs) or as plug-in electric cars, have come a long way over the past decade and certainly a long way over the past 100 years.

Electric vehicles came into prominence in the early 1900’s, a time when horse-drawn carriages were the primary mode of transportation.  Archived black and white photographs from that period show famous avenues like Madison Avenue in New York city filled with horse-drawn carriages.  In stark contrast, a similar photograph taken a decade later of Madison Avenue showed not a single horse-drawn carriage.  Instead the avenue was filled with motor vehicles, a new invention at that time. 

We are now witnessing a similar fundamental shift in road transportation, as polluting internal combustion engines (ICE) petrol and diesel vehicles are being replaced by low-emission and zero-emission electric vehicles. In countries like the United Kingdom, a leader in e-mobility, we can expect a comprehensive replacement of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030 (UK will ban the sale of new ICE cars in 2030). The UK is not the only country that has a vision of a mass transition to zero-tailpipe emission electric cars.

Since 2011, the global electric vehicle (EV) market has increased at a year-over-year growth rate of over 50%. In 2020, according to the Global EV Outlook 2021 report, the global stock of electric vehicles (EVs) had surpassed 10 million units . In 2015, the Global stock was just over 1 million units. In 2020, Europe accounted for the largest share of new car registrations of EVs (1.4 million registered electric vehicles), followed by China (1.2 million electric vehicles). In Europe, countries like Norway, Iceland and Sweden continue to show strong leadership in the transition to electric driving. In Norway more than 75% of new cars are electric, followed by 50% in Iceland and 30% in Sweden.

However, this is not just a western phenomenon. A number of countries across the world have announced their support for electric cars, to include India. Pure electric cars are now common sightings in a number of global markets, and EV automotive manufacturers, like California based Tesla Motors are now household brands.

Traditional automotive manufactures have also shown significant commitment to the migration to electric engines, to include Volvo Cars, the Volkswagen Group, Renault, Nissan, Peugeot, Hyundai, Mercedes, Land Rover and many more. Forecast for the sale of EVs suggest up to 30 million electric vehicles to be sold before the end of the current decade.


Types Of Electric Vehicles (EVs)


Electric vehicle” is an umbrella term, and a broad one at that. There are a number of different types of electric vehicles (EVs), each with its distinct characteristics and advantages. These include:

  • BEVs: Battery-electric vehicles (pure electric)
  • PHEVs: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) combined)
  • MHEVs: Mild hybrid electric vehicles (internal combustion engine (gasoline or diesel) along with regenerative braking)
  • FCEVs: Fuel cell electric vehicle (electric with hydrogen as fuel)

The above “types” are powered either entirely or partially by electric energy and have different environmental impacts.


Battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs)


Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), also known as pure electric vehicles, are powered entirely by electricity (i.e. the vehicle does not have a conventional internal combustion engine). BEVs have zero-tailpipe emissions and help improve local air quality.

BEVs are also very economical to drive. A BEV can cost as little as Rs 50 per 100 kilometres to drive. Examples of best-selling EVs include, the all-electric Tesla Model 3 and the all-electric Renault Zoe. A BEV is charged by plugging in the electric vehicle to a dedicated electric car charging station (home or public charging stations). BEVs are well suited for those living in towns, cities and urban centres. Of course, battery-electric vehicles are also suitable for those living in rural settings.


Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs)


Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) differ from battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), in that, PHEVs use both a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric engine for propulsion. Plug-in hybrid vehicles combine the advantages of electric driving and internal combustion engine driving.

On shorter distances, the PHEV uses the electric mode to drive emission-free, using the on-board EV battery and regenerative braking. For longer distances, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicles switches to using the internal combustion engine. With a PHEV, the vehicle can cost as little Rs 50 per 100 kilometres to drive on e-mode, without any tailpipe pollution, and also be driven long-distances, without the fear of range anxiety! Most PHEVs have an EV battery of up to 15 kWh and can achieve a zero-emission electric range of up to 50 kilometres. No wonder PHEVs are fast becoming popular globally, with much potential or India. Like a BEV, the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is charged by using an external power source (EV charging point) for charging.

PHEVs are suitable for those that drive long-distances on a regular basis but want to lower the negative environmental impact from tailpipe pollution. PHEVs are also suitable for those individuals and families that are seeking to save money by taking advantage of electric driving. The Volvo XC40 PHEV and the Volkswagen Golf 8 are good examples of PHEVs.


Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEVs)


Mild hybrid electric vehicles (MHEVs) are a limited form of electric driving. These vehicles also use hybrid technologies (electric driving and internal combustion engine), but the EV battery is much smaller than a BEV or PHEV. Moreover, in a mild hybrid, the EV battery cannot be charged via an external source (i.e. EV charging station). In a MHEV, the battery is charged by capturing the energy released during braking, a process known as regenerative braking. MHEVs have lower tailpipe emissions, and are more economical to own, run and maintain than petrol and diesel cars. MHEVs are a better option than a petrol or diesel car, but not as good an option as a BEV or PHEV. Mild hybrids are well suited for those living in regions with limited charging infrastructure. Again, MHEVs have great potential in India, given the limited public EV charging infrastructure.

The Toyota Prius is a good example of a mild hybrid electric vehicle.


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs)


Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) also called hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, have a fuel cell stack that uses hydrogen to generate the electricity needed to power the electric vehicle. The fuel cell generates electricity and pure water vapour that can escape via the tailpipe. It is capable of generating electricity as long as there is a steady supply of hydrogen. Fuel cell electric vehicles can be refuelled with hydrogen at purpose built filling stations. Filling an FEC takes no more than five minutes.

FCEVs have a range of about 500 kilometers or more between refueling. Today, the only and major limitation is the very limited hydrogen refuelling station network globally. The Toyota Mirai FCEV is a good example of this type of EV.




Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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