Citroen Ami: electric city car that promises to break the mould

  • New cheap EV with 28mph top speed and 43-mile range
  • Cute looks, available to buy, lease or use on subscription
  • Launching in France first, with no promise it will come to the UK

Meet the Citroen Ami – the French car company’s latest attempt to provide mobility for all. You can rent one from the equivalent of just £17 per month, charge it in three hours on a household plug, and pilot it without a driving licence.

Sadly, it's also only available in France, and technically it's not actually a car but a quadricycle - like a Renault Twizy, only with proper doors and side-by-side seating for two.

Citroen says it’s the future of personal mobility, and perfectly suited for city dwellers. For us, what really excites is the variety of finance options available, under Citroen’s Free2Move programme.

Citroen Ami electric car - 2020, side view

French customers can pick up a long-term rental from €19.99 per month (around £17) over 48 months with an initial payment of €2,644 (£2,220), pay-as-you-go from €0.26/min (22p per minute) plus a monthly fee of €9.90 (£8.30), or buy one outright for €6,000 (around £5,000).

Built for the cities

According to Citroen, the Ami is a mobility solution that’s environmentally sound as well as safer and more usable than the usual scooters, bicycles and mopeds you see in city centres, while being perfectly-sized for city drivers.

Perfectly sized in this instance means it’s tiny, measuring a mere 2.41m in length. You can fit two in a traditionally-sized parking bay.

Citroen Ami electric car - 2020, driving in the city

It also has a tiny 5.5kWh lithium-ion battery, but because it's so small it still has a claimed driving range of 43 miles - though maximum speed is just 28mph.

The Ami can be recharged from a three-pin socket in around three hours, intended to make it usable by people who can't easily get access to a proper electric car charger.

Cheap to charge, and to fix

It’s cute and cuddly as you’d expect for a car with a name that translates into English as ‘Friend’, but it’s also been designed to be cheap to fix, should the worst happen.

Citroen Ami electric car - 2020, crazy doors

The side windows and doors are the same on both sides, and the front and rear bumpers, the bottoms of the bumpers and under-body panels are also identical.

Being a lightweight quadricycle, its crash safety standards may not meet those of conventional small passenger cars, however. We'll await the Euro NCAP test before passing judgement.

Does it come in different models?

There are seven versions to choose from, and it’s available with a variety of options to make the 'car' your own – including storage nets, mats, a smartphone clip, a dongle which connects live data to your Ami smartphone app.

Citroen Ami electric car - 2020, minimalist interior

There are also two packs to choose from – My Ami Pop and My Ami Vibe.

What this means for you

You can’t buy, rent or subscribe to one in the UK yet - and there are currently no plans for that to change anytime soon, which is a pity - so at the moment the Ami will be little more than wishful thinking for most readers.

This seems a shame, as with cities such as London, Edinburgh and Bristol becoming more hostile towards traditional cars with petrol and diesel engines, vehicles like this could represent a real opportunity to maintain your mobility without the pain of congestion charging and the like.

So if you do like the sound of one, we suggest you start lobbying your local Citroen dealer and explain why you’d love to see the Ami sold here.

Further reading:

>> Honda E review

>> Renault Twizy review

>> What is an electric car?