Citroen Ami first drive: The all-electric quadricycle

The Citroen Ami is a compact all-electric quadricycle that aims to bring urban mobility to a wider audience. Its classification, size and limited speed make it a viable option for teenagers living in France aged 14 or above; the Ami doesn’t require a driver’s license to operate, and yet is suitable to drive on public roads.

The small-sized EV has already received around 2,000 orders in France. Citroen aims to launch the Ami in Italy, Spain and Portugal in the first half of 2021. From a UK perspective, one can ‘Register Interest’ through an online portal – if the French automaker gauges enough demand, it’ll launch the Ami in the UK, too.

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Citroen Ami purchase and rental price

Unlike many vehicles on the market, Citroen is aiming at a different crowd. In France, it’s available with three different price plans: the first is a cash purchase, which will cost aspiring buyers €6,000 – this includes the €900 grant by the French government. Surprisingly, it can even be bought via FNAC and DARTY, two French retailers that stock a variety of consumer electronics.

Citroen Ami review

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The next option is a long-term rental, where one can rent an Ami on a 48-month term for €19.99 per month with a downpayment of €2,644. This plan is aimed at those who want a non-binding contract and want to offset the payment – the total cost after 48 months comes in at €3,603.52.

Finally, Citroen has partnered with Free2Move, a leasing company, to offer the Ami on a mine-by-minute basis. Here, the electric vehicle will cost €0.26 per minute to lease and will be available to those aged 16 years old and above.

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Citroen Ami design

The Ami has a unique look, where its body panels are uniform in order to keep manufacturing costs down to a minimum. For example, the front and rear of the vehicle are identical, where they are only differentiated by the colour of their lights. The doors are also identical and thus open in different ways: the passenger side door opens in a conventional manner, while on driver’s side it’s a suicide door. Essentially both door parts are alike, therefore the position of their hinges reflect how they operate.

When it comes to its dimensions, the Ami is 2.41 meters long, 1.39m wide and 1.52m tall; making it ideal to park almost anywhere. Its hard plastic shell sits on 14″ rims, which can be altered in colour – the trim colour is reflected inside the cabin, too. There are four main shades to choose from: Grey, Blue, Orange and Khaki. Two colour packs, ‘Pop’ and ‘Vibe’ also add more decor and stickers to the vehicle.

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Citroen Ami comfort & interior

Inside, the vehicle is very simplistic, with limited comfort and storage at your disposal. Here, one can fit a small cabin suitcase by the passenger-side footwell, store small bags behind the two seats and place valuables by the door compartments or by the colourful dashboard.

The two seats are manually adjustable and have very limited padding to protect ones back from the plastic frame, though, with its limited driving range of 43 miles, this should be a non-issue.

Next to the seats are two coloured drawstrings, which are used to operate the doors. One can be tugged to release the latch, while the other is used to slam the door shut.

In terms of technology, there’s only a USB socket to charge a smartphone. The instrument cluster is a non-coloured LCD display that provides only vital information to the driver: speed, range and total mileage.

In terms of the overall interior design, it’s simplistic; that said, it’s functional and will be perfectly amicable to those taking the Ami on a short commute.

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Citroen Ami performance

Speaking of which, the vehicle houses a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery under its floor. According to the French manufacturer, this yields an all-electric range of 43 miles (70 km). As one can imagine, given its size, it’s truly meant to reside within the city centre.

It’s even more apparent that this vehicle isn’t suited for A roads or the motorway as it’s limited to a top speed of 28 mph (45km/h); torque and 0-60mph times have yet to be tested. However, upon our first drive, we found it to be nippy and ideal for weaving in and out of traffic. Thanks to its electric motor, torque is instantly available, where it makes for an extremely fun experience – one could describe it as an all-electric go-kart. You sit close to the windscreen and can feel the road. It’s a joyous drive and will leave many with a smile on their face.

Citroen Ami overview

It’s also extremely easy to manoeuvre, with a tight 7.2m turning diameter; making it ideal for those who aren’t overly confident drivers or those who are new to the roads. It’s also safer to use over open-air quadricycles or motorbikes, whereby its doors and roof make for a bettered experience – especially in the colder months – over some of its four-, three- or two-wheeled rivals.

To replenish its batteries, it can be plugged into a conventional 220 Volt socket; it’ll take roughly three hours to charge till full.

The only downside from our brief encounter is its inherent lack of soundproofing. The cabin resonates a lot of road noise, and even suffers from an echo when conversing.

Citroen Ami door design

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TotallyEV’s first impressions of the Citroen Ami

Nevertheless, the Citroen Ami is the ideal companion for those seeking to do short commutes around the city. Better still, it’s available to individuals who might be a little strapped for cash and further is available to rent, even if you’re a teenager.

Ultimately, it’s a city car and Citroen has pretty much nailed the execution – we love it, especially as it’s ridiculously fun to drive thanks to its all-electric powertrain. Sure, it won’t replace a conventional small-sized car, but it’s an alternative.

These are, of course, our first impressions. We’d love to know what you make of the Citroen Ami. Let us know in the comments below or via social media; we’re on: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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