► A new two-seat, all-electric city runabout
► No driving licence required (in France)
► It’s not coming to the UK... not yet, anyway
Meet the Citroen Ami – the iconic French company’s latest attempt to provide mobility for all – a cute, two-seater city EV, which can be rented from just £17 per month. And if you’re in France, you can drive one without a car licence from the age of 14. If mum lets you…
Citroen describes it as a micro-mobility solution that’s environmentally sound as well as safer and more usable than the usual scooters, bicycles and mopeds you see in city centres, while being priced to compete with public transport. It follows on from the Ami One concept car of last year.
The Ami is tiny, measuring a mere 2.41m in length and has a taxi-like 7.20m turning diameter. Its makers say that parking and city driving in it is an absolute doddle. Compared with a moped or scooter it’s more sociable to sit side-by-side in a comfortable, warm and enclosed space, but we’ll see if the Ami comes close to challenging the dominance of two-wheeled city transport.
As micro-cars go, it’s a cute-looking thing and Citroen says its customisation options are what sets the Ami apart from rival offerings.
Tell us about the tech on the new Citroen Ami
It’s an all-electric quadricycle with a maximum speed of 28mph, and is said to have a battery range of 43 miles. Citroen says that is a far greater distance than the average travelled by typical city dwellers.
The production version of the Citroen Ami packs a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, housed flat under the floor, and can be recharged from a three-pin (sorry, two-pin) socket in around three hours. It can also be charged at one of the many public chargers that litter our cities.
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It’s a light and spacious thing, with an interior that’s roomy for two - and unlike some quadricycles such as the Renault Twizy, there's full glazing and a panoramic roof. In fact, more than 50% of its upper body is glazed, so there will be no excuse for not being seen at those tricky priorite a driote roundabouts in Paris. There are masses of storage spaces inside, too.
And the design?
Like last year’s concept, it comes with symmetrical parts, so replacing doors will be a simple matter, as passenger and driver’s side are identical. The side windows are also symmetrical for the simplest production possible. Front and rear bumpers, the bottoms of the bumpers and under-body panels are also identical – very clever.
There are seven versions to choose from, and it’s available with a variety of options to make the car your own – so there are storage nets, mats, a smartphone clip, a dongle which connects live data to your Ami smartphone app. There are also two packs to choose from – My Ami Pop and My Ami Vibe.
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So, who is the Citroen Ami aimed at?
Michel Costa, market research manager for the Citroen Ami project says: ‘The common denominator among all future users will not be their gender, age, socio-professional category, place of residence or even less their level of education, but rather their need for mobility.
‘I'm talking about the need for a solution for frequent trips, short distances (going to the supermarket, to the gym), a solution that is simple and easy to access and use (no need for a licence). I'm talking about a very affordable and resolutely modern electrical solution. Ami is the perfect solution to answer these needs.’
How much will it cost and when is it coming to the UK?
There are some interesting finance and rental options available on the Ami. If you’re set on having one of your own, you can pick up a long-term rental from €19.99 per month (£17) over 48 months with an initial payment of €2644 (£2220). That’s the most conventional way.
You can also subscribe to the Free2Move car-sharing scheme, which you literally pay as you go for anything from €0.26/min (22p per minute) plus a monthly fee of €9.90 (£8.30) with no commitment. And if you’re really old school, you can buy one outright for €6000 (around £5000). That or a secondhand Renault Twingo? Tough call…
As for when it’s coming to the UK – Citroen says we’re not ready yet for the first chapter in its transition into being a mobility solution provider, but that’s not to say it won’t come later on. But there are no plans yet.
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