I have no idea if this will be the future for the masses, but for sure look like the image of future as far as we can see it today. The first thing to say is that the full electric Peugeot ion is a car. I mean, it looks like a car. So no undefined space-era design to show “this is the future” and this is a very good sign. We know this is the bare sister of the Mistubishi i-MiEV so design comes from Jap: basically looks like a compact four doors egg-shaped like a lot of other fuel powered cars of the same range. The second thing to say is that the little ion behaves like the car you always drove. You have a normal remote door opening system, you have a normal key, you put the key in, turn it and the car turns on. Like every other car. Well, there is a slight difference. No noise. And this is absolutely wild. It’s on? Or not?
Silence is probably the most amazing fact about the ion and the main reason for me to suggest to try the experience. No Jaguar V12 or Mercedes V8, even under tons of insulation foams inside the cockpit, will allow you to have this zero emission of noise (not considering CO2 obviously). We always wonder about the virtual CO2-zero-emission of the electric cars, but we forget about this incredible feature and how dangerous is noise for the Planet too. Imagine a city with zero engine noises. Can you do it? How would be Paris, Rome, Madrid without it? Another place. Said that, the other side of the coin is that zero noise is dangerous too. I tested it: in downtown Milan people drinking aperitivi in the middle of the road and chatting loud with phones and friends couldn’t spot me. I had one brave guy sat over the nose of the ion not realizing i was driving by and not stopped there for his ass. Total silence seems a dream over, but at least we could have a nice discussion on what type of noise add over it: Mozart? The Tired Ponys? Kermit’s the Frog voice?
The driving experience is smooth and exciting: a beautiful automatic transmission let you enjoy the torque produced by the electric engine. Push and go: no black holes of power in the middle. Good brakes, good steering system, enough space inside as every normal city car, no plastic noise inside thanks also to a super powerful radio system. The stress? Well, I can’t admit I always kept an eye over the power consumption device. The clock tells you how good you are to save energy, but there is a slighty hidden pleasure to bring the clock to the “full power” red zone. I have no idea about authonomy: the dealer said around 140 km, but I did around 50 in the city and I was still at 3/4 of the full charge. Anyway you have a nice blu cable+plug in the trunk (but you do not have any charging station in Milan…maybe within the famous Expo 2015).
Finally, rumors about price: would you spend around 30.000 euros for this stuff? Not me: i feel that the perceived retail price for this toys must be less than 10.000 euros. Probably only in front of such offering you could seriously decide to have a “real” city car like the cute ion. Cause on the contrary (if you can afford it) you can play the Sylicon Valley Green Tycoon and drive a Tesla.