The Citroen Ami: All-Electric City Car From £6k
Meet the Citroen Ami: the feel-good, wallet-friendly city ‘car’
Why ‘car’? Because the Citroen Ami technically isn’t one! Technically designated as a ‘quadricycle’, this label helps the Ami sidestep lots of car-based regulations, and allows you to enjoy a city runaround for an estimated pocket-friendly £6k. This is the ultimate in affordable urban mobility, able to seat two, plus luggage.
As a tiny little personal vehicle, with a top speed of 28mph and a total range of 43 miles, this isn’t really a car replacement. This is a brilliant family addition to help provide other options to public transport, in a more personalised, comfortable package than an e-bike or scooter.
The Ami is due to arrive on the UK scene in 2022, and you can secure one, with a refundable reservation fee, for only £250.
This cheerful runaround is affordable, fully electric and destined to plaster a smile on your face, whether you’re driving it or a pedestrian watching it go by!
What is the Ami good for?
This is fully a city car. For an urban runaround, this is a brilliant option. It’s illegal to use on motorways and you don’t want to be wandering out of 30mph zones.
Depending on your country, you can drive the Ami from the age of 14, and without a driving licence - although, probably sensibly, it’s being introduced as only available to over 17s with a licence in the UK. In this capacity, it could be a perfect addition to an urban family’s fleet. As you'll need a driving licence to drive one of these in the UK, it's worth learning about the driving laws you didn’t know existed...
It’s only for short commutes and low-speed zones, but that could be just the ticket for providing freedom - for the teenagers in your home, or even for an elderly driver looking to get rid of their car, but still in need of an easy-to-use transport method. What about a small runaround which any of the family could hop into, to nip to the shops or head into the centre of the city? Sounds like it could be much more justifiable and useful than you might think.
Now that so many of us see our daily commute as a thing of the past, with home working the norm (and looking to remain so, at least at some level), a vehicle for easy urban access, which complies with the ULEZ laws about to come in and is bound to avoid future congestion charge laws, might be just the ticket.
As for its price tag - that’s a major draw. Whilst the rest of the electric vehicle market sees the ‘cheapest’ EVs coming in at a minimum of £15,000 (think the Skoda CITIGOe iV at £15,000, then Volkswagen ID.3 at £25,000 or the Peugeot e208 pushing up around £26,000), a (predicted) £6000 city EV is life-changing.
If you are looking for something a little more substantial, the Kia EV6 has a long-range and ultra-fast charging, and is a fantastic choice for a family-friendly electric vehicle.
Tech & Design
The Ami weighs in at only 458kg, including its 5.5kWh battery pack. Made completely out of Ami plastic, it measures in at only 1.4 metres wide and 2.41 metres long, and can seat two. That’s smaller than a Smart car. Its 8bhp inevitably leaves it lacking when it comes to power, but what do we expect from a car with such low top speeds? It’s worth remembering that EVs have that immediate ‘zip’ when coming out of a junction that is lacking in ICE vehicles, so the low power levels don’t compromise your ability to nip out onto a roundabout. The “incredibly tight” turning circle of only 7.2 metres makes it a great inner-city option too, and parking is never going to be an issue.
In terms of its design, the Ami is simplicity itself. There are the pedals, the seats, a steering wheel, a manual handbrake - and three buttons. One is for the rear windscreen, one for the fan, and one for the hazards. It’s also a total head-turner - looking more like a lego construction than a car.
For modernity’s sake, there is a USB port and phone dock, too, and the windows flip outwards, in a nod to the Citroen 2CV. There is nothing over-complicated; this is the 21st-century version of the Flintstone car!
If you're looking for something a little more advanced, check out the newest car technology of 2021.
The Ami comes to market in the UK in 2022, and early interest suggests that this is going to fly off the shelves - despite being available only in left-hand drive. When it comes to lease prices, you can expect the Ami to set you back less than a monthly phone subscription.
This fully electric quadricycle plugs in at a normal household power socket, and takes only three hours to recharge.
It will do 55 miles worth of driving on £1s-worth of electricity - making this a really affordable and ergonomic way to get about.
Okay, so the Citroen Ami is unlikely to replace your car - unless you’re approaching it as a step down from car ownership to getting rid entirely.
But with less onus spent on commuting and more people than ever living in urban environments, the Ami could be the perfect family vehicle to allow your teenager some freedom, your grandparents some independence, and the family a ‘drier’ option than walking or taking public transport.
This cheerful, cheap little runaround is definitely worth considering if your needs can be fulfilled by a low-speed, easy-access urban commuter vehicle.
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