Written by Theo Koenig - November 03, 2020
Edited by Asaf Kedem
The quirky little car designed by Citroen has many unorthodox features. To begin with, it can be driven by 14-year old’s and above, with and without a driver’s license (in France at least). This is possible due to the fact that the car has no handbrake, no clutch, and has a maximum speed of 45 km/h. For those of you skeptical about the market demand for such a vehicle, remember that the Renault Twizy (probably the biggest direct competition) has the same top speed, and is also available to 14-year old teenagers.
Citroen has gone further, however. The 100% electric vehicle can be charged using an ordinary household outlet (standard EU 220V plug) and on such a plug the complete charge time is 3 hours. It is of course also compatible with the higher-level electrical vehicle chargers found locally in France. The Ami is remarkably compact, taking up the equivalent of half a parking space in length. It measures 2.41m in length and 1.39m in width, making it marginally smaller than the Smart (2.69m length x 1.66m width). The two-seater vehicle is designed for urban trips and therefore comes equipped with one electrical 6kW motor, and a range of 75km.
The car certainly has a unique design. Two large doors allow easy entry/exit to the small vehicle. Maximizing light penetration has led designers to covering the front of the vehicle in windows, while also including a sunroof. The fun, contrasting colors, as well as the unorthodox headlights are certainly strong attention-grabbers. The interior has also been designed with an air of playfulness. Younger audiences will be pleased to know the simplistic interior of the Ami still comes equipped with a phone dock station including a charger. It is interesting to note that Citroen have chosen to leave out the glove compartment so that customers can stow further baggage at their feet. Another talking point will be the windows that do not roll down, but rather flap out.
The Ami comes with a handful of benefits designed to appeal to its younger audience. For starters, the Ami marketing department has launched a collection of lifestyle products that range from backpacks and shoes to speakers and shirts. The car is furthermore offered with a compatible mobile App that can be used to track features such mileage, time remaining on charge, as well as the location of charging stations. Finally, an appealing loan system created through the PSA financial services allows for several options to purchase the vehicle through monthly payments. One such plan consists of €19.99 monthly payments for 48 months with a down payment of €3,541, bringing the total cost of the car to a remarkable €4,500.
Auto Trendy's take:
Revolutionizing the urban transportation system will undoubtedly require the participation of the younger generations. With driver licenses becoming increasingly more expensive over the generations, many youths have put off buying cars for the later, more stable periods of their lives. Citroen has found an innovative and amusing approach to fixing this problem, especially in crowded cities with difficult access to parking. Considering the very low cost, and the fact that it seats 2 (which the Twizy cannot offer), Citroen can beat their competitors on several fronts. The follow-through from the marketing department with the Ami merchandise may also prove useful to attract brand attention. We hope to see more trends like this in the future.