When I was a kid, I used to dream of driving a Lamborghini Countach or a Vector W8. These were the cars that made my heart race and my imagination soar. They were also the cars that made no sense whatsoever. They were impractical, inefficient, unreliable, and ridiculously expensive. But they were cool, and that’s all that mattered.
Fast forward to 2024, and I’m driving a Citroen e-C3. It’s a small, boxy, electric hatchback that resembles a cross between a Lego brick and a toaster. It has a 111-hp motor and a 44-kWh battery that gives it a range of 199 miles. It costs less than $25,000, and it just won the Car of the Year award from the Company Car & Van magazine. It’s not cool, but it makes sense. It makes a lot of sense.
Why the ë-C3 Makes Sense
The Citroen e-C3 is the first European-designed and European-built electric car that aims to make zero-emission mobility accessible to the masses. It’s not a luxury car, a performance car, or a status symbol. It’s a car for people who want a simple, comfortable, and affordable way to get around town without polluting the air or breaking the bank.
The e-C3 is based on the Smart Car platform, which Stellantis, the parent company of Citroën, Peugeot, Fiat, and other brands, use. The platform is designed to be modular, scalable, and adaptable to different markets and segments. It also allows for low production costs and high efficiency.
The Citroen e-C3 is powered by a single electric motor that drives the front wheels. It produces 111 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, which are enough to propel the car from 0 to 62 mph in 11 seconds and to a top speed of 84 mph. The motor is fed by a 44-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that uses LFP (lithium iron phosphate) cells, which are cheaper, safer, and more durable than the more common NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) cells. The battery pack provides a WLTP range of 199 miles, which is more than enough for most urban and suburban drivers. The ë-C3 can also charge at up to 100 kW, which means it can replenish 80% of its battery in just 26 minutes at a fast-charging station.
The 2024 Citroen e-C3 electric car is not a speed demon, a corner carver, or a long-distance cruiser. It’s an electric city car and a very good one at that. It’s easy to drive, easy to park, and easy to live with. It has a spacious and practical interior, with plenty of room for four adults and their luggage. It has a high driving position, good visibility, and a simple dashboard. It has a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a head-up display that shows key information, and a smartphone station that lets you use your phone as a key or a remote control. It also has many safety and driver assistance features, such as active safety brake, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear parking sensors.
The ë-C3 is also comfortable, thanks to Citroën’s Advanced Comfort program, which includes a specially tuned suspension, ergonomic seats, and sound insulation. The ë-C3 is designed to be a relaxing and stress-free place to be, whether you’re stuck in traffic, cruising on the highway, or exploring the countryside.
The 2024 Citroen e-C3 is also affordable, which is perhaps its biggest selling point. The base model, called Citroen e-C3 YOU!, starts at $24,500, which is less than the Nissan Leaf, the Hyundai Kona Electric, and the Kia Soul EV. The mid-range model, called PLUS, adds some extra features, such as alloy wheels, LED headlights, and a rearview camera, and costs $26,500. The top-of-the-line model, called MAX, adds even more goodies, such as a panoramic sunroof, a wireless charging pad, and a premium sound system, and costs $28,500. These prices are before any federal, state, or local incentives, which can lower the cost even further.
The ë-C3 is not the only electric car in its segment, of course. There are other contenders, such as the MG 4, the BYD Dolphin, and the Mazda MX-30. But none of them can match the ë-C3’s combination of range, charging speed, practicality, comfort, and price. The ë-C3 is the electric car that makes sense for most people, most of the time.