The new Ami can be driven by a 14-year-old. Image via Supercar Blondie / YouTube

Compact eco-friendly vehicle shifts into first gear in Paris

Citroën’s new model, the Ami, is proving to be popular in the French capital – with Parisians seeking a safe alternative to public transport during the pandemic.


The new Ami can be driven by a 14-year-old. Image via Supercar Blondie / YouTube

French car manufacturer Citroën launched its tiny cube-shaped car, the Ami, in March this year. The car, an electric model, was aimed at the eco-conscious urban commuter.

The Ami is available to rent and buy in France. It is currently being sold online, through French retailers as well as being offered for hire by Free2Move, a car-sharing company, which offers short inner-city rentals including “pick it up here and drop it off there” options.

Citroën claims that the Ami, which offers the benefits of electric technology, a colourful design and ease of use, has the potential of becoming an iconic urban vehicle.   

The Citroën Ami’s specs

The Citroën Ami is a two-door electric passenger vehicle, which shares the same name as an earlier model that was produced between 1961 and 1978. The newest model of the Ami is actually a light motorised quadricycle. Its total weight is 485 kilograms.  

The Ami is 2.41 metres long and 1.39 metres wide. Its compact size means it can fit into small spaces in urban areas. The Ami’s two doors both open in opposite directions, which according to the car manufacturer, allows easier access to the vehicle’s interior. The vehicle has a height of 1.52 metres.

Watch what it can do

Eco-friendly urban electric car

Being electrically powered, the Ami is a vehicle that produces no emissions. The car is powered by a rechargeable 5.5 kilowatt ion battery. It takes approximately three hours to recharge the battery, using the vehicle’s built-in charge cable. Charging can be done via a 220 Volt household electrical outlet.

The vehicle is capable of reaching maximum speeds of almost 50 kilometres per hour. It is designed to be used for short trips in built up urban areas, as opposed to long journeys on the open road. The Ami has a range of 70 kilometres.  

The Ami’s target market

Citroën initially targeted its new Ami at the eco-conscious urban commuter. However, with the need for social distancing brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many Paris commuters who rely on public transport are opting for this town-driving electric vehicle instead of public transport.

Since the Ami is classified as a light quadricycle, it can be driven by people as young as 14 years old, who have certification for riding a moped. Being an electric-vehicle which is easy to drive, the two-seater Ami can be driven without a license in many major European markets.

The vehicle has also become a popular choice with many drivers who are choosing to use the Ami for short journeys. Citroën said that the first orders for the vehicle were taken in France only, but the vehicle will be rolled out in Spain, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Germany later in the year.