One of the most significant drawbacks of electric vehicles is their price, expensive maintenance, and high-tech approach. It seems that all EVs are intended for people obsessed with technology, big infotainment systems, and autonomous driving. However, what about the customers who only need necessary urban transportation, no luxury options, and affordable electric vehicle. So far, the most affordable electric cars like Nissan Leaf or Volkswagen ID3 are not exactly cheap, and cars like Renault Twizy are more a scooter on batteries rather than the proper automobile. So, what is the solution if you are looking for a dirt-cheap, utilitarian, electric city car? Citroen believes that it has an answer in the form of diminutive but interesting Ami Electric.
Classic car fans might remember that Citroen already produced a model called Ami from 1961 to 1978. Still, the French company decided to resurrect that name and give it to a tiny, boxy electric vehicle that debuted in Europe in 2020. The Ami Electric is a quadricycle type vehicle which on the French market can be driven by people who don’t have driver’s license or persons over the age of 14. It is powered by a 6kW electric motor with a small 5.5 kWh battery with a range of 70 kilometers (45 miles). Such a tiny drive train can push Ami to 45 km/h (28 mph) top speed. The whole car is made from plastic, assembled in Morocco, and weighs only 471 kilograms.
However, lack of performance is followed by lack of amenities, and Citroen Ami doesn’t have climate control, a navigation system, interior mirrors, radio, or power windows. So, what does it have, you might ask? Not much, two pedals, steering wheel, and that is it. Modern customers, accustomed to a long list of standard and optional equipment, might find it disturbing, but the idea of Ami Electric is brilliant. This car’s whole point is not to amuse you with electronic gizmos and enormous central displays but to provide you with base transportation in an urban environment, save you from the rain and be more practical than the scooter.
Citroen’s research showed that most of the electric vehicles are used in cities where the average speed is up to 30 mph. Most of the EV owners use their cars for the daily commute, shopping trips, and that there are rarely more than two persons in the vehicle. So far, Ami Electric fills all those requirements since it can achieve 28 mph with a range of 45 miles. However, the best thing is the price. At the moment, Citroen is selling Ami Electric in Europe for just 6,000 euros, and we can expect to cost the same in British pounds when it arrives in the UK later this year.
Yes, the Ami Electric is not the flashiest or best-performing EV out there. Still, its role is not to amaze the customers with its equipment or performance but to be an affordable electric vehicle and a gateway car for the whole EV culture. Since teenagers in Europe can drive it, it is guaranteed to be popular amongst the younger people, more practical and safer than the scooter. Besides, Citroen is planning to offer significant discounts to fleet buyers, which means you will see a lot of these little things as it will be the favorite car of ride-sharing services in Europe.