Citroen E-Mehari: the electric beach buggy you can buy in 2016

Published: 08 December 2015

► E-Mehari unveiled in Paris
► It’s an electric-only car
► E-buggy launches in 2016

Citroen has fast-tracked its Cactus M concept car programme to create this – the E-Mehari all-electric runaround, due in European showrooms in 2016.

The only thing fast about the car is arguably its gestation: it has a 70mph top speed and Citroen quotes a range of 125 miles from its 30kWh lithium-polymer battery pack.

The unusually styled convertible, inspired by the 1960s Mehari beach buggy, is further confirmation that Citroen is daring to be different with its new products. Inspired by the C4 Cactus and distinctive DS models, it is attempting to lure customers bored of identikit mainstream designs with a range of leftfield products.  

Citroen E-Mehari: who’s it aimed at?

Xavier Peugeot, the company’s product planning chief, said the car was ‘not a volume seller but an image accelerator.’ It is likely to be used by hotels wanting a stylish and silent electric runaround, or by fleets and individuals wanting clean, tax-efficient second cars, he said.

The car’s battery pack is made by EV specialist Bollore and can be recharged in 13 hours from a regular domestic socket, Citroen claimed.

Honey, I shrunk the beach buggy…

The E-Mehari is supermini small, at 3810mm long, 1650mm tall and 1870mm wide. The body is thermoformed plastic and the company claims it’s dent-proof and maintenance-free – while the pared-back theme continues inside, where the cabin is stripped-out and highly utilitarian.

The 2015 Cactus M concept car

Like the Cactus M concept shown at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show (above), the E-Mehari is inspired by the design of the original 2CV-based Mehari beach buggy built from 1968-1987.

Quite the antidote to modern, excess-all-areas design? Or a naff publicity stunt? Be sure to tell us in the comments below.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet