New Citroen ami is a Renault Twizy rival for £17 per month

Citroen ami showcases brand's idea of electric urban mobility, with hire, rental and buy options by the “minute, year or more”

Citroen ami

This is the Citroen ami – a brand-new electric quadricycle based on the AMI ONE concept, first seen at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. It can charge from a domestic plug in three hours, and has a total range of 43 miles.

But the headline figure is the price. While it hasn't been decided whether the car will be available in the UK and how much it might cost if so, in France the ami will be available for as little as €19.99 per month (£16.70) including VAT over four years, following an initial payment of €2,644 (£2,208). If you want to buy one outright, prices start from €6,000 (roughly £5,000). It'll be sold exclusively online.

In addition, Citroen will offer the ami under its Free2Move initiative, whereby you can rent the 2.4-metre-long electric car for as little as 26c (22p) per minute. Citroen claims the ami “is for everyone” whether you need the car “one minute, to one year and more – to share, to rent or to buy”.

With a 5.5kWh lithium-ion battery mounted under the floor, the ami can be recharged using the standard-fit cable located in the passenger doorway. The car will do almost 30mph, and has a tight turning circle of just 7.2 metres.

The two doors open in opposite directions; one is hinged from the front and the other from the rear. The wheels have been pushed right out to the corners for maximum interior room, while the standard panoramic roof further emphasises this feeling of space for the two passengers. To keep costs down, the side windows are opened and closed manually.

The electric Citroen AMI ONE concept vehicle was the star of Citroen's stand at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The brand described it at the time as a "popular, modern and timely response to new customer behaviour and the challenge of the energy transition in the city".

Citroen ami design

The new Citroen ami is designed to offer maximum interior space with the smallest possible external footprint. Its boxy design gives plenty of headroom, while the large glasshouse should make for excellent visibility in and around town.

There are echoes of the original Citroen C4 Cactus at the front end, with separate daytime running lights and round headlamps. The same is true of the car in profile, where the firm’s designers have incorporated Airbump technology to protect the ami from parking dings.

Citroen says the ami is highly customisable and available in seven different ‘versions’. There are four main colours, which can then be bolstered by orange or grey accessory packs, as well as options like a smartphone clip or wi-fi dongle.

Interior

There's space for two adults sitting side-by-side inside the ami, as opposed to one behind the other as in a Renault Twizy. The passenger seat is fixed, but the driver’s seat slides forward and back to “accommodate the tallest of occupants”. Citroen says there's a recess in the passenger footwell big enough for a carry-on-sized suitcase, as well as another storage area at the rear of the ami.

Specifications

While the concept featured huge 18-inch wheels, the production-ready ami sits on new, specially designed 14-inch wheels and measures 2.41 metres long, 1.39 metres wide and 1.52 metres tall. The total weight including the battery is 485kg.

With zero emissions, the ami should enjoy unrestricted access to city centres as low-emissions zones and congestion charges become more prevalent in coming years. Order books will open in France on 30 March, with Spain, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Germany due soon after. UK availability is unconfirmed as yet.