The all-new 2024 Citroen E-C3 electric light car has been unveiled for Europe with a sharp €23,300 ($38,700) starting price.
- New Citroen E-C3 electric car revealed for Europe
- Attainable circa-$30K variant coming in 2025
- French to directly rival Chinese-made EVs from BYD, MG, GWM
- Not available to Australia
An even more affordable smaller-battery variant will join a year later with a €19,990 ($33,200) price tag to further undercut competitive Chinese-made EVs, including the BYD Dolphin, MG 4, and GWM Ora.
In Europe, the E-C3 will launch with two variants featuring a 44kWh (gross) battery based on the cheaper and longer lasting lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) chemistry, which delivers up to 320 kilometres claimed WLTP range.
Recharging speeds are capped at 11kW AC and 100kW DC.
A single electric motor produces 83kW of power and propels the electric city hatchback from 0-100km/h in about 11 seconds.
Meanwhile, the cheaper 2025 E-C3 variant will provide up to 200km of claimed WLTP driving range, with full specifications to be announced.
Based on the current Indian-spec Citroen E-C3, the European version gains a design overhaul while maintaining the rugged SUV-style look.
It adopts Stellantis’s ‘Smart Car’ global platform, said to be designed as an EV from the start, but can accommodate traditional internal combustion engines.
With a Suzuki Ignis vibe and 4010mm length akin to the MG 3, the Citroen E-C3 also features contrasting colour accents on the C-pillars and front bumper similar to the facelifted Mazda 2 – but can be swapped with a different colour.
Compared to the outgoing petrol-powered C3, the French company claims interior space has improved in nearly every dimension with a 100mm higher seating position, 163mm ground clearance, and 310-litres of boot space.
Citroen has also fitted its Advanced Comfort Suspension and Progressive Hydraulic Cushions as standard to offer a more comfortable ride.
Inside, there's large windows, a compact steering wheel and a fabric-wrapped dashboard to provide a ‘lounge-like’ theme.
Tech and safety
Despite the budget-friendly price, the E-C3 still offers a range of technology and safety assistance features.
It’s available with a 10.25-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto, while a slim heads-up driver instrument display is standard.
A suite of safety assistance technologies are also featured, including auto emergency braking with vehicle, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure assist, speed sign recognition, and standard cruise control.
Will the Citroen E-C3 launch in Australia?
Nope. Or, at least, not anytime soon.
The affordable Citroen E-C3 will launch in Europe in the second quarter of 2024, with the cheapest circa-$30K variant set to join in 2025.
As for Australia, the brand's local distributor has confirmed with Wheels Media that the E-C3 is simply not available to our market. They'd be keen to look at it, however.
"Should the Citroën ë-C3 become available for the Australian market, of course we would be interested in closely evaluating its suitability for local introduction," a spokesperson said.
If it does launch in Australia, the E-C3 will bring new European competition to the entry-level EV scene.
Currently, the Chinese-made BYD Dolphin, MG 4, and GWM Ora electric hatches cost around $40K before on-road costs. The cheapest European-made EV is the Nissan Leaf, which is priced from $50,990 before on-roads.
Volkswagen has also vowed to launch the ID.2 with a circa-$40K price in Europe by around 2025.