The Fully Electric Peugeot You Didn't Know Existed
It is not often that I come across a car that I didn’t know existed, but the Peugeot 106 Electric is just that.
When I stumbled across a photo of one, I genuinely thought that somebody had stuck a piece of plastic to the wing of a standard 106 and was holding a cable to it in a bid to trick people into thinking it was electric.
But It turns out that I was wrong. This was a fully electric French oddity launched in the mid-90s. Was this a case of Peugeot being too forward thinking for there own good, or was this more of a gimmick than a genuinely usable electric car?
A normal 106. Can you spot the difference? © - Peugeot Media
The 106 Electric was powered by a set of now outdated Nickel-cadmium batteries that produced 127Nm of torque and 27hp.
As a result, the performance was more milk float than Telsa P100D. The top speed was a poor 56mph and 0-31mph (yes 31) took a shocking 8.3 seconds.
Range was said to be 50 miles and recharging took place from a standard domestic 13amp socket, giving a recharge time of six hours.
Its this bit! Image source - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40726868
The nickel cadmium rechargeable batteries were prone to something called memory effect.
Now, I’m no battery expert, but basically put I think this means that repeated partial discharging coupled with a failure to occasionally completely discharge/recharge the batteries could negatively affect their capacity.
This could be an issue for somebody who commutes the same distance every day and had to top up in order to have the range for the next day’s trip to work.
For potential customers at the time, the extra consideration these batteries required must have been a bit of a negative.
The police officers look thrilled at the prospect of 0-31mph in over 8 seconds © - © - Peugeot Media
Despite this, one owner reports that thanks to being sympathetic with the batteries he travelled 150,000Km (93,250 Miles) in a 106 Electric before needing to upgrade the batteries.
The information I can find suggests that only a small number of these cars made it into the UK and they were predominantly used by councils. Apparently, Nottinghamshire had a fleet of 38. Peugeot were also kind enough to donate two to a Police station in Coventry.
The short comings in terms of battery technology, range and performance are probably enough to confirm to us why this buzzing little French hatch never really took off.
It also worth remembering that public opinion on saving the world was different in the 90s. Nevertheless, I always find it interesting to learn about such an oddity.