Electric vehicles lack the broader appeal to win over mainstream consumers, according to the chief executive of Peugeot.

Speaking during a conference call set up to to replace a cancelled roundtable discussion at the Geneva car show today, Carlos Tavares claimed EVs are only bought by "green addicts".

Mr Tavares said: "When some markets are cancelling some subsidies, demand collapses.

"The battle from now on is that zero emission vehicles become affordable between now and 2025."

Referring to Peugeot’s difficulties in selling electric cars in mainstream markets, Mr Tavares added: "We are selling our electric vehicles to green addicts. We didn’t move to the pragmatists."

Tavares told the gathering that he believes the lack of a dense charging network, the limited operating range of electric cars, as well as uncertainties surrounding the long-term price of electricity, are all combining to hinder the popularity of electric cars.

He said this is why Peugeot has opted to develop vehicle platforms capable of including fully electric, hybrid or just combustion engines. "So that we can adapt in a very agile way what the consumers are asking," Tavares added.

During the same call, Mr Tavares revealed that the French car maker would adjust its partnership with China’s Huawei if the US authorities made it a precondition for approving its $50bn merger with Fiat Chrysler.

It comes at the same time as the White House is urging European allies to exclude Huawei from its telecoms infrastructure.

Mr Tavares said: "We have a partnership with Huawei, which is linked with another partnership with French telecom company Orange, we are not in direct relationship with them.

"But of course on this matter, we will listen to the American authorities and of course we will follow all their instructions.

"If there was any question or any guidance from the American authorities, we would be eager to follow them."

So far, France has ruled out discriminating against Huawei as a vendor for the country’s 5G networks.

In 2017 Peugeot partnered with Huawei to develop a cloud-based connected vehicle system which has been deployed on six million cars in Europe and China.