Friday, September 22

We got into the Citroën Ami: this is how the small vehicle that can be driven from the age of 15 works

Anti-pollution restrictions, projects to give priority to electricity and the explosion of online commerce with its undoubted repercussions on the “last mile” have delivered the perfect context to see proposals as risky as the Citroën Ami and its transportation counterpart, My Ami Cargo. We have had the opportunity to get on a unit and these have been our sensations.

It is electric, it measures 2.41 meters, very simple and can drive with an AM license from the age of 15. It is, in short, the dream of the staunch defenders of micromobility. And, although the Citroën AMI can be a great solution for car sharing services or last-mile deliveries, it also has some details that penalize a product that, in its ideal context, is almost round.

True reflection of our days

As we said, it seems almost impossible that the Citroën Ami had been born in such a propitious context like the current one. It is true that microcars have always existed (BMW Isetta, revived by Microlino) or vehicles that could be driven with a moped license. But the decision of the European institutions to bet on the electric car, the creation of low emission zones in all cities of 50,000 inhabitants or an explosion of electronic commerce that has pushed for reduced and cheaper delivery times.

Its extravagant aesthetic makes sense. If we split the car into two halves we would have exactly the same car, hence its right door opens in the traditional way and the left door opens against traffic, also known as “suicide”. Front or rear, the Ami is exactly the same, except that the brake lights are red. The interior has the basic and essential. And in that race for cost savings lacks air conditioning, radio, adequate soundproofing or some padding in the seats.

But we must not lose sight of what the Citroën Ami is and what it is designed for. Is heating or radio essential for short city trips of 15 or 20 minutes? Probably not, although the experience on board would improve significantly. Perhaps the problem lies with those who value My Ami Cargo as a solution for their company’s deliveries. Here, sitting for several hours a day in a working day can be too uncomfortable.

Its L6e vehicle status prevents it from circulating on highways and motorways, such as the M-30 in Madrid

Furthermore, we must not lose sight of the fact that we are talking about a vehicle with a price of 7,600 euros, to which the aid of the Moves III Plan in some autonomous communities must be subtracted. In these figures, it has no rival. The closest thing by size may be a Renault Twizy and, in addition to being more uncomfortable, it is more expensive (from 11,855 euros) and does not have the cargo space of the Ami. By size, it is 28.5 centimeters shorter than a Smart EQ ForTwo which, in addition, asks for 24,525 euros starting. Of course, the Ami plays a completely different sport than any other vehicle on the market.

When the city is too big for you

once we are aboard the Citroën Ami its advantages flourish but, in a city like Madrid, we also find some shadows that cloud the experience.

As a mobility and carsharing, the Ami may be one of the most interesting options. It is the smallest vehicle, so the parking spaces multiply. Its interior has a good number of compartments to leave the packages that anyone can carry daily. Even a person could make a good purchase and carry it inside. In return, two people can go a little fair as long as they are warm or large.

The sensation is that of being more protected than on an electric motorcycle, with which it shares an AM card, and its large glass surface provides a really comfortable feeling inside. In addition, it allows you to closely monitor all the traffic that moves around us. Its turning radius is 7.20 meters, which makes it perfect for wandering around and moving freely through the heavy traffic in Madrid.

Citroen Ami M 30

But here it has one of its biggest drawbacks if it wants to become a mobility solution for delivery in the last mile. A city the size of Madrid may be too big for him. Its battery has a capacity of 5.5 kWh and its autonomy is 75 kilometers. To charge it, a cable is used that is wound on the passenger door and plugged into the domestic socket, which entails being plugged in for three hours to reach 100% of its autonomy again.

Due to its status as a category L6e vehicle, it cannot travel on highways or motorways and its maximum speed is 45 km/h. This can be a real problem in a city like Madrid, where the M-30 becomes a prohibited space. To this we must add that in large avenues any driver passes you by too fast (although it should not be so) and that crossing the city, with its round trip, can consume between 35 and 40 kilometers of autonomy.

Your Ideal Scenario

Taking into account its advantages and disadvantages, what can be your ideal scenario? As a solution for carsharing or shared rental in the city, there is no doubt that the Ami can have its place. The problem in this case is for the company in charge of recharging the vehicle, since its limited autonomy of 75 kilometers does not leave much room for numerous trips. In exchange, in just three hours you can have the vehicle on the road again.

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As an alternative to the electric motorcycle on a daily basis it can be an interesting idea. After all, the requirements are the same, its price is very similar and, although you will never be as agile, it gains in security. For those who do not mind not having a radio or air conditioning and want a safer vehicle than the electric motorcycle to move around the center of a city, the Ami can be a good alternative.

And lastly, how electric vehicle to use for last-mile deliveries in a medium-sized or small city, it can save a lot of time for SMEs who are thinking of opening up to e-commerce and managing deliveries themselves. With this in mind, Citroën itself offers some interesting solutions in the My Ami Cargo variant, such as a space to leave A4 (folio size) documents, a tray that supports up to 10 kg of cargo, which can act as a mobile desk and also allows you to separate the interior space to provide extra security and order in shipments. In total, up to 140 kg of load can be transported, to which the weight of the driver must be subtracted.