Sep 12, 2020 - 02:17 pm

A friend of short trips: Citroën Ami electric car review

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Less is more. That’s the Citroën Ami in a nutshell. The all-electric four-wheeler with its 75-kilometre-range targets a young, urban group of buyers who simply want to get from A to B. We tested it and wondered whether the little friend is also suitable for fleet use.

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How do you begin a car review of a car that is reduced to the bare essentials? With what is missing: air conditioning, interior mirrors, radio, navigation, power windows, trunk, heated seats. Okay, this list would go on. So let’s look at the price: 6,000 euros. That is how little the Citroën Ami costs in France. And will in Germany, when it arrives there at the end of the first quarter of next year, as the Citroën managers promised this week at a driving event in Berlin. When PSA debuted the Ami in France, they also promised market entry in Southern Europe around 2021. Only the UK website still considers the compact EV a concept.

But back to Berlin. The small amount of euros buys you a spartan little auto comprising 250 individual parts, which a 5.5 kWh small battery should be able to carry around for up to 75 kilometres. (Our display showed 65 when fully charged.) With 471 kilos, the Ami is a real lightweight but also takes only two people. The 48-volt drive delivers 6 kW on the front axle. With the battery located in the rear, the weight seems well distributed. Thanks to a maximum speed of 45 kph or 28 mph, even holders of a class AM driver’s license (keyword: moped license) are allowed to drive the small EV as early as at the age of 16. So far, so little.

Clearly: You won’t drive the Citroën Ami to go on vacation or to see your mother-in-law. Even a trip beyond the Berlin city borders requires planning. But that’s precisely the idea: Many people only drive short distances to work or shopping anyway. And they may have two cars in the household. One of them could be this little friend in future.

At the same time, the small electric car could also be attractive for a fleet application or two. Unfortunately, the Citroën staff on-site did not relay as to whether the fleet sector already plays a role in sales in France. But as is well known, PSA runs the EV in their car-sharing Free2move. It couldn’t get more fleet…

Our test drive across Berlin also gave us the following ideas: Nursing services, which operate in defined quarters, could see the vehicle as a solution between a bicycle (actually recommendable) and larger cars (hard to find parking space). The Ami would also suit delivery services that are not on the road 24/7 or can charge during breaks. In the municipal sector – for messenger trips or in parking management – there should be numerous applications as well.


We could continue this list of ideas at will. Of course, potential friends of Ami vehicles in the fleet should make sure to supply sufficient charging infrastructure. Since the car currently only has a standard plug (think Schuco socket) – hidden in the passenger door – it doesn’t need much. Simple external sockets would suffice given the manageable 1.8 kW. An adapter for type 2 charging stations and wall boxes is to come but seems superfluous. It takes three hours to fully charge the little energy pack, one way or another.

Sure, the Ami offers little luxury. The seats are hard, the windshield heater is noisy – and there is a complete lack of cooling. That’s why you should probably take test drives in winter and summer first. But for cities that dare for fewer cars, Citroën has the answer. At 7.2 meters, the turning circle is extremely small and a source of joy in dense city traffic. And, the Ami is a little eye-candy – it’s been some time since we’ve got this many curious glances and smiley thump-ups in Berlin Mitte.

Only the approval-related limit of 45 kph (the Ami runs in EU class L6e) is perhaps a little too slow for the flow on Berlin’s large axes. Between SUV and truck, we sometimes felt a bit lost. But at last, the search for a parking space, that usually turns into parking found with this little friend, compensates for it. And so does the smile of the pedestrians at the next traffic light.

Reporting by Peter Schwierz, Berlin.


26 Kommentare zu “A friend of short trips: Citroën Ami electric car review

  1. Paul Henley

    When do you think it will make it to the United States??

    • Bruce

      Hopefully never. Such a small car would be a hazard on north American roads and would crumble in a crash with just about anything. Hitting such a small car with a pickup at 40 mph could prove to be lethal for the electric econobox occupants.

      • Oleg

        Yeah, riding a motorcycle is so much safer.

        • John Ford

          Fantastic! All other vehicles should now be banned from town centres plus a 20mph limit imposed. Just another day in paradise?

      • Landrew

        I suggest banning ridiculously stupid oversized gas-guzzling automobiles in city centres then.

        • julio

          I drive a Chevrolet which does 10 mpg. Bite me.

      • Charles

        I am a senior citizen who would love to have affordable electric car but I can afford to make payments on my social security with. The price of electric cars in the United States even with the $1,700 that you get from the government put electric cars made in the United States out of my budget. It is time for us to open our market to other options for small Urban electric cars.

  2. Chris

    I would love to buy an electric car but there are too many hurdles to overcome. 1. Charging at home. I live in a block of flats with parking 50 metres away. There is no 50 metre charging cable. 2. Range anxiety. 3. Cost of ongoing maintenance includes rent of batteries.
    However I might buy an electric bike especially one in which the batteries can be removed & charged indoors. Microletta.

    • Nicolai

      This is a regular household plug. There are 50m cable on a little drum for that and they cost 78€ in the waterproof outdoors version. And you own the battery. It is all pretty simple.

  3. Pedro

    Um veículo elétrico com autonomia de apenas 45km’s e Dora 3horas para carregar a bateria para fazer mais 45km’s, c custo de +- 6000€~7000€, esses gajos não tão b da cabeça, devia consultar o psiquiatra.

    • L E Morin Villouta

      Autonomia de 65 (75) km. Leia o teste 😉

  4. Deborah Hutton

    Look fab fit for basic purpose ideal especially in a world were trying to convert to cleaner energy let’s face it most if us use our car to pop on school runs and shopping major holidays you could then rent bigger cars instead if having them polluting al, year round .think major cities should in vest in these and stop other cars .cant wait and hopefully in our sons time they will be come the norm

  5. Mustafa

    Like the VW beetle, this little gem will soon sprout all types of accessories, including a convertible version

  6. Karol

    I like the statement : “with its 75-kilometre-range targets a young, urban group of buyers who simply want to get from A to B.” – I see those youngsters plugging in the car every few kilometers/ looking for rare public chargers – if they are not occupied – then spending more time getting out cable and plugging in than driving those few kilometers. Figuring out which charge card will work and not paying 1eur per kW/h at the same time… good concept but requires little bit more homewrok to do .. I would say good to have this but not ready for market.. maybe as mobility service roaming between reserved charger parkings within city.. maybe.. would not buy .. these thins need wireless charging and appropriate wireless pods everywhere they pard so charging is the last thing “young urban group” is bothered with… but what I know , I guess Citroen did they market research…

    • Peter Ling

      Fantastic for work. 5 miles there and 5 miles back. I’d buy one tomorrow!
      Who needs the extras for this type of use?

    • Landrew Mackinnon

      So completely wrong for the needs of so so many people.


        Maybe people’s “needs” are not so sacred. Soon we’ll wake up to the fact that survival of the planet is more important. A Tesla Model 3 requires 75% increase in power consumption in your home to do 50 miles per day… but it meet’s most of your “needs”.

  7. Bill

    Forget cities, (where bus services are generally excellent,) this would be wonderful for those many people who live in or near market towns. I live three miles out of town and this would make my life a lot easier. An electric car I can afford! Yes it would be nice if it went a little bit faster, say 35-40 mph but for 6,000 euros, of course it’ll be more here : ( I’d buy one today if I could.

    • Andrew Campbell

      This small electric car is so much cheaper than the Renault Twizy which is currently on sale for £11,800 in the UK. Well done Citroen, I think that a top speed limited to 45 km/h is ok for city use because nobody needs to exceed this speed when commuting or shopping in and around the town.

    • Tiago

      I don’t think you need more than 30mpg. We had an Aixam City Electric, capable of 50mph (downhill, with the right wind conditions). It had a low power mode only able of doing 30mph and we always drove it that way. It increases range significantly and at those speeds you become a lot easier to overtake.

      At 40/45mph you’re still fairly slow as it takes a while to achieve cruise speed and cars struggle to overtake in the narrow British roads. Driving at that speed becomes stressfull where as at 30mph you don’t even think about other cars.

  8. Nandor

    I like to buy it for Budapest and it’s suburbs ASAP.

    • Nandor

      Actually Version 2 might be more suitable for me with about 10kW engine, 70km speed (so with driving licence), 8kWh battery, 1,8kW charging (5h charge 1,8kW with the normal plug as version 1) otherwise same as the first model

  9. Graham R Stanford

    I would buy one tomorrow as long as the warranty/servicing were set up for the uk

  10. Michael Benjamin


  11. Sherwin

    This looks like a fantastic city car. However, I really would not feel comfortable in a Canadian city without it reaching 60 km/hr. I wonder how hard it would be to upgrade it to that speed?

  12. John Gisbey

    Charging the Citroen Ami? – As the plug and electric lead are in the passenger door – does the door have to be left open whilst taking the three hours to recharge? That would be fine in the garage at home but outside? in wet weather? and away from home? – not good security if having to recharge at a public car park.

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12.09.2020 14:34