Citroën is in the latter stages of evaluating the Ami electric city car for a sales debut in Britain, according to the firm’s UK managing director.
Speaking to Autocar, Eurig Druce said there is a “huge desire” to bring the quirky two-seater to market here. “This is a true Citroën”, Druce elaborated. “This is absolutely what Citroën is all about. Its unconventional, it’s fun, and it delivers on what it’s intended to be.”
The Ami is intended to propel Citroën into a new era of car-sharing and urban mobility. Crucially, it’s classed as a quadricyle, like the Renault Twizy, which means it can be driven across Europe without a driving licence by those aged 16 or older.
Druce acknowledges that Citroën UK has imported a small number of them for assessment, stating that his recent drive in one around Coventry city centre “has not at all impacted on my desire to bring the car to the UK”.
As part of the “final assessments” ahead of offering it for sale, Citroën will invite media and consumers to test and evaluate the Ami in its current guise. Crucially, Druce admits, if the Ami comes here it would “in all likelihood” be left-hand drive.
“That sounds like a big deal. but of course due to the size of the car the difference between having the steering wheel on the left or the right is probably only 7 or 8 inches – not a huge disadvantage”.
The French firm hopes that the Ami, which remains true to the Ami One concept in 2019, will appeal to a new generation of buyers as the appetite for more traditional entry-level cars, such as the C1 (which is unlikely to be replaced), wanes. It was launched in other European countries this summer.
The Ami is 90mm longer than the Twizy, at 2.41m, and has a 40mm-wider turning circle of 7.2m. Under the floor of the Ami is a 5.5kWh lithium ion battery that can deliver up to 47 miles of range, while a sole motor allows it to hit a top speed of 26mph. The battery can be recharged in just three hours from a domestic socket.
Citroën is offering three usage models: long-term rental, car-sharing and cash purchase. Rental requires a deposit of €2644 (currently £2227) and monthly payments of €19.99 (£17). Through car-sharing scheme Free2Move, Citroën parent firm the PSA Group’s offering, subscribers can drive the Ami for 26 cents (22p) per minute. To buy, the Ami costs €6000 (£5054).
Acquiring an Ami will be an entirely online process, in which the EV can be delivered to one’s home or collected from a pick-up point. It will also be available in traditional Citroën dealerships, as well as pop-up stands in shops, such as French department store chain Fnac.