Citroen’s Mini Electric Car Can Be Driven By 14-Year-Olds
It was just a concept last year, but Citroen has made the Ami the cutest dream come true. At a mere 2.41 meters long and capable of a top speed of just 28mph, it barely qualifies as a car and is categorised by the Europen Union rulebook as a “quadricycle”—which means that even a 14-year-old is allowed to drive it without a license.
The car’s 5.5 kWh battery can transport a maximum of two occupants 43 miles on a single charge, which is not much, but also means that the small battery can be charged at any standard 220V electrical outlet in under three hours.
Now, let’s not dismiss the diminutive Ami yet. Vehicles like this could be one of the solutions to last-mile problems in public transit, like the electric scooters and bicycles that litter the outside of bus and train stations. In the EU, where they are slowly phasing out petrol and diesel engines to reduce vehicle emissions, this could be the alternative for your daily commute within the city. Citroen has already committed to offering the Amis on a rental basis, by the month or even minute-by-minute for as low as €0.26 a minute, starting in Paris.
Citroen has kept the design of the Ami to a minimal—even its door components for both sides are identical, resulting in the hinge of the driver and passenger doors being on opposite sides (one towards the front, and the other towards the rear).
The interior is kept quite bare, with only a Bluetooth speaker to connect to your own phone, which counts as the Ami’s entertainment feature, and a mobile app that replaces the dashboard to relay battery status, mileage and maintenance indicators as well as the nearest charging points.
Stripping the car to the basics brings the price of the Citroen Ami to an affordable €6,000, which is competitive compared to the Renault Twizy, a vehicle in the same segment that had moderate success in the EU some years ago. If you are a parent of teenagers, you could get them to send themselves to school in one, rather than braving the school run every day together with them in an obnoxious SUV—this could be reason enough for the Citroen Ami to exist.