Citroen unveils small electric urban mobility solution, Ami
With lesser and lesser people actually buying cars every month it seems car companies are trying to make smaller, more affordable vehicles that don’t require customers to pay the full sticker price to drive them. Citroen is entering bang in the middle of this space with the Ami. The two-seater Ami is a tiny vehicle best suited for zipping around the concrete jungle. Prospective customers will be able to drive it without a license and Citroen’s flexible ownership plans for the Ami mean customers will be able to either rent it long term, ride share or even own it.
The Ami’s USP is how compact it is. At just 2.41m long, 1.39m wide and 1.52m tall, it’s the perfect choice for congested cities, and you'll probably be able to park it in the tiniest of spaces and thanks to a turning radius of 7.2m, the Ami will be able to take U-turns on the tiniest of streets. Ami looks as cute as its name suggests — the front is clean with two round headlamps under the pair of round indicators, matched by the round side-view mirrors, leading to a front end that is not trying to be aggressive in any sense of the word. It almost looks like a puppy, if I'm honest.
The side profile is fairly simple, as you’d expect, but it looks smart thanks to the 14-inch wheels, and details like the three stripes on the rear quarter window. The driver’s side door is rear-hinged for easier ingress and egress while the one on the passenger side is forward hinged like a traditional door. The rear is almost perfectly symmetrical to the front, with the headlights being replaced by taillights, making the Ami look good, as well as allowing for cheaper and simpler production, thanks to mirrored body panels.
Unlike the similarly-sized Renault Twizzy, which seats two in tandem, the Ami will seat two people side-by-side in a fully enclosed cabin. A panoramic glass roof comes as standard, which Citroen claims, along with the windows, makes the cabin feel bright and airy. Every inch in the cabin has been optimised to make the most use of the small space available. The traditional infotainment screen has been replaced by a space to put a smartphone, allowing access for navigation and music. The Ami can be customised according to the buyer's needs, via a bunch of different kits including a door storage net, storage tray and hook for a bag, among others. The personalisation doesn’t end there though, with four colours available and two colours packs that can be selected on top of that to customise it to the buyer’s choice.
Powering the Ami is an 8bhp all-electric motor, capable of a top speed of 45kmph, so don’t expect to be overtaking too many cars on the highway in this. A 5.5kWh battery provides a range of up to 70km and it can be juiced to 100 per cent via a traditional 220-volt socket in just three hours.
Thanks to its classification as a light-quadricycle, people in Europe will be able to drive the Ami without the need for a driving license, although you need to be at least 14, if you’re in France, or 16 in other European countries. The flexible ownership options mean that Ami is accessible to a wide variety of people. The long-term rental plan starts at Rs 1,595 per month in Europe (not including Indian taxes and duties). Car sharing via Free2Move allows subscribers to use the car for as low as Rs 21 per minute! However, this facility will be available in Paris only for a start and will expand to more cities via more intermediaries soon. The final alternative is just buying it by paying the full Rs 4.8 lakh sticker price for it (not including Indian taxes and duties).