The DS 4 E-TENSE Plug-In Hybrid Hatchback: The Complete Guide For The UK

DS4 plug in hybrid
Price: £39,400
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Hatchback
Battery size: 12.4 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 38.5 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 27g - 35g (CO2/km)

Overview


DS Automobiles is a French luxury automotive brand, which was launched in 2009. Though it was initially part of the PSA Group (Citroën DS), it was launched as a standalone brand in 2014. The French marque was developed by the PSA Group to include a more premium brand in its portfolio.

DS Automobiles was inspired by the original DS unveiled at the 1955 Paris Motor Show. The company is also involved with Formula E. In fact, electrification has been part of the brands strategy from its creation. The company claims, ‘the lowest average CO2 emissions in Europe (100.2 g/km of CO2 according to the WLTP cycle per registered car in the first half of 2021) and more than a third of its cars are electrified.

This strategy is accelerating: from 2024, every new DS Automobiles model will be exclusively 100% electric”. The company currently has the following battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs):



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


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The DS 4 E-TENSE PHEV Hatchback


The first-generation DS 4 was launched in 2011. The second-generation DS 4 was unveiled in 2021. The vehicle is also based on the Efficient Modular Platform EMP2 platform.

Despite the update of the DS 4 plug-in hybrid in 2022, the overall proposition of the electric car, is not as compelling as some of the more recent PHEVs. Yes, the EV offers style, quality and comfort, but in terms of its electric driving credentials, its proposition is average.

For a start, the size of the onboard EV battery (12.4 kWh) and claimed emission-free electric range (38.5 miles WLTP), are average. Moreover, the tailpipe emissions of the PHEV (27g – 35g CO2/km), though lower than a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) variant (150g CO2/km), is not class-leading.

The electric driving industry has matured significantly, since the introduction of the first-generation Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV in 2013. Though PHEVs have historically played a key role in the migration from petrol/ diesel vehicles to lower emission electric cars, the role of PHEVs today, is not as vital.

In general, given the significant improvement in the e-range of pure electric cars, owning a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) has becoming less compelling, given the reduction in range anxiety. Therefore, for a plug-in hybrid electric car to truly offer a strong proposition, the electric vehicle (EV) has to offer a longer electric range and reduced tailpipe emissions i.e. more environmentally-friendly and efficient.

Put another way, plug-in hybrid electric cars that offer limited emission-free electric range, and relatively high tailpipe emissions, have less benefits to offer families and businesses migrating to electric cars. The longer the pure electric range of a PHEV, the greater the financial and environmental benefit!

A claimed 38.5 miles electric range, adjusted for real-world driving condition, will result in a real-world e-range closer to 30 miles. Though this is useful for most day-to-day driving needs, it is limited in its use. Many PHEVs now offer a WLTP quoted range over 50 miles, and in some cases closer to 70 miles.

As an example, the Mercedes-Benz C Class plug-in hybrid saloon has a 25.4 kWh onboard EV battery, with a WLTP electric range up to 68.97 miles. This is practical for urban and motorway driving, and is certainly class-leading.

Bottom-line, to truly leverage the benefits of driving a PHEV on electric mode, adequate electric range is imperative. If the electric vehicle (EV) is driven primarily using the internal combustion engine (ICE), it would be a significant challenge to achieve anywhere near the claimed fuel efficiency of the electric vehicle. For the DS 4 PHEV, the automotive manufacturer claims a fuel economy up to 232 mpg.

Like most PHEVs, the DS4 PHEV does not incorporate DC charging. However, not surprising, given the size of the onboard EV battery. The EV does incorporate a single-phase 7 kW AC onboard charger as standard. Which works well for the UK market, given that most residential dwelling in the UK are powered by single-phase power supply.

We discourage using a 3-PIN domestic plug for charging an EV, and encourage the use of a dedicated residential EV charger like myenergi zappi. Using a single-phase EV charger, the onboard EV battery can be fully charged in 1 hour and 55 minutes.

Using a domestic socket will take up to 7.05 hours to achieve 0%-100% charge. We encourage plug-in hybrid owners to adopt a ‘topping up’ approach to charging an electric car. This way, there is always available emission-free electric miles!

We also encourage businesses and families to install an on-site renewable energy system, like, a solar PV system or wind turbines, coupled with battery storage. It further enhances the benefits of electric driving, to include, zero-tailpipe ‘well-to-wheel’ emissions when driven on e-mode. Of course, there are also financial savings when a plug-in hybrid is driven on electric mode. Far cheaper than calling on the petrol engine!

The 1.6-litre petrol (4 cylinders) direct injection turbocharged front-wheel drive (FWD) DS4 E-Tense 225 plug-in hybrid can achieve 0-62 mph in 7.7 seconds, and has a top speed up to 145 mph. Maximum power is up to 225 hp and torque up to 360 Nm. The EV incorporates regenerative braking.

In terms of technology and features, the EV offers: 7-inch digital instrument cluster, 10-Inch HD touchscreen, DS extended head-up display, proximity Keyless entry and start, rear and front parking sensors, reversing camera – 180° Vision, advanced emergency braking system, blind spot detection, extended traffic sign recognition, speed limit recognition, intelligent speed adaptation, driver attention alert, cruise control with speed limiter and more.

The interior is premium and comfortable. However, for taller adults seated at the rear, headroom could be an issue. The available boot space is 390 L.

Company-car drivers can take advantage of the lower Benefit-in-Kind (BiK- from 12%) for the PHEV. Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet. You can lease electric cars via e-zoomed at fantastic prices.



PROS CONS
Attractive exterior styling Electric range not class-leading
Comfortable interior cabin Limited room for rear seat passengers
Decent level of technology Expensive. Cheaper alternatives available

Gallery


The DS 4 E-Tense PHEV Hatchback (credit: DS Automobiles)


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body Type:Hatchback
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Not Available
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (3 Options)
DS 4 E-Tense Trocadero (from £39,400)
DS 4 E-Tense Rivoli (from £42,650)
DS 4 E-Tense Opera (from £46,400)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 12.4 kWh
Charging:DC Rapid Charging not available. Onboard charger: 7 kW AC (0%-100%: 1 hr 55 mins)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type: Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:27g – 35g (CO2/km)
EV Battery Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Average Cost Of Residential Charging
Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh £1.27
Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh£1.67
Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh£1.73
Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh£1.89
Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh£2.03
  • Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in the UK varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for the UK is 14.40 p/kWh.
  • Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.

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)
  • Note 1: SoC: state of charge

Dimensions
Height (mm):1470
Width (mm):1830
Length (mm):4400
Wheelbase (mm):2675
Turning Circle (m):10.82
Boot Capacity (L):390

DS4 E-TENSE
EV Battery Capacity:12.4 kWh
Electric Range (WLTP):38.5 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):205 – 224
Fuel Consumption (MPG):183 – 232
Charging: DC Rapid Charging not available. Onboard charger: 7 kW AC (0%-100%: 1 hr 55 mins)
Top Speed:145 mph
0-62 mph:7.7 seconds
Drive: Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Electric Motor (kW):167
Max Power (hp):225
Torque (Nm): 360
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Kerb Weight (kg):1,653
Colours:6
NCAP Safety Rating:Five – Star

While e-zoomed uses reasonable efforts to provide accurate and up-to-date information, some of the information provided is gathered from third parties and has not been independently verified by e-zoomed. While the information from the third party sources is believed to be reliable, no warranty, express or implied, is made by e-zoomed regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of any information. This disclaimer applies to both isolated and aggregate uses of this information.


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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 large-scale 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 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 has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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