DS Automobiles Aims To Release a New Electrified Vehicle Every Year

French carmaker PSA Groupe’s premium brand DS Automobiles has announced it will be releasing a new electrified model each year, starting with the DS 7 Crossback.

The DS 7 Crossback E-Tense will have a plug-in hybrid powertrain capable of 300 horsepower and 60 kilometers (37.28 miles) of battery range. An SUV will arrive in spring 2019.

DS Automobiles is taking lessons learned from its part competing in the Formula E electric racing series over to its electrified models. The DS team has participated in races held in Monaco, Paris and Berlin, soon to be followed by those in New York and Montreal. This offers the automaker an opportunity test and evaluate new technologies for future production models.

“A competition series involving all-electric race cars obviously makes an ideal testing environment for our forthcoming technologies. With each successive race or test-session, we’re accelerating this development and every new component to achieve a better understanding of how to optimize the electric motor drivetrain and the management of energy in particular with cooling in mind,” said Xavier Mestelan Pinon, DS Performance director.

The DS 7 Crossback’s gasoline engine has 200 hprsepower THP (Turbo High Pressure). It also carries two 80 kW electric motors to drive each axle. The company said that the SUV is capable of producing a total deployable power output of 300 horsepower with four-wheel-drive.

With energy loss being a challenge for automotive engineering teams working on electrified vehicles, the Formula E series has been an ideal testing ground. Developing the DSV-02 (DS Virgin 2nd generation) race car with its top speed of 140 mph has been part of it.

“In their year-long work on developing the DSV-02, the team of 10 engineers and the accompanying host of technicians identified a number of ways for optimizing the operating efficiency of the electric motor and transmission system, and the most-suitable aspects of which are being developed for the road-going petrol-electric PHEV drivetrain of the forthcoming DS 7 Crossback E-tense,” the company said.

The DS 7 Crossback comes with the automaker’s new Efficient Automatic Transmission with 8-speeds (EAT8) located between the internal combustion engine and electric motor.

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The company plans to have more than a third of DS vehicles sold in hybrid or all-electric versions by 2025. Three specific projects already in their advanced stages, with the Formula E series being ideal for testing out the new technology, the company said.

In March, parent company PSA Group said that its count of plug-in electrified vehicles launched in the next few years will more than double from the initial goal of 11 up to 27 models. These will be coming out through the Peugeot, Citroen, and DS brands.