Citroën is launching the Ami, a new ~$6,000 mini electric car that can cost just $20 per month and it can be legally driven by a 14-year-old can in France.
We call it an electric car because it looks like a small city car, like a smart, but Citroën is calling Ami a “light quadricycle.”
It’s accessible to people from 14 years old in France, though the French automaker says that only 16-year-olds on average are going to be allowed to drive in most European countries. Another advantage (or risk depending on how you look at it) is that in some places, you won’t even need a driver’s license to get behind the wheel of an Ami.
Vincent Cobée, Citroën Brand CEO, commented on the launch of the vehicle, which was just a concept a year ago:
“For 100 years, Citroën has always been innovative and creative in democratising freedom of movement. This year, Citroën has come up with a new urban mobility solution accessible to everyone: compact, protective, 100% electric, without driving licence, and affordable. Ami – 100% ëlectric aims to be a real breakthrough in enabling urban mobility, a solution in sync with new modes of consumption. This great idea was a concept one year ago. We are proud that we have made it happen today.”
As you can imagine, for ~$6,000, the specs are nothing to go crazy over, but it still has some value.
Citroën says that Ami is equipped with a 5.5 kWh battery pack and a 6 kW motor enabling about 70 km (44 miles) of range and a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph), which limits in use within cities or small communities.
It’s somewhat of a significant powertrain for the form-factor: Ami is 2.41m long, 1.39m wide, 1.52m high, and sits on 14″ wheels.
Here are a few pictures of the electric car/light electric quadricycle:
Where the Ami electric car really shines is with its price and availability. In France, you can buy it outright for €6,000 including VAT. It’s also expected to launch in other markets with pricing to be announced.
You also have other options like a long-term 48-month rental for just €19.99 per month with an initial payment of €2,644 or you can have access to it through the Free2Move car-sharing service for a monthly subscription of €9.90 and €0.26/min.
Citroën will ship the Ami directly to customers and it will display it in electronics stores in France.
I’m not sure what to think here. I like the idea a lot because it brings access to electric transportation to a lot of people who would otherwise find it hard to fit in their budget.
However, the safety component is a bit worrying to me. I suppose if these are primarily used in cities at lower speeds, the risk of severe injuries is not that high, but I still wouldn’t want to be hit in that thing at 25+ mph.
At the same time, it seems a lot safer than a bicycle or motorcycle.