The Electric Citroen Ami Is Coming to the US but You Can’t Buy It
With Peugeot’s US return canceled, it’s starting to look like Stellantis won’t be bringing any more European brands here. At least, not with their original badges—there’s no reason Chrysler couldn’t sell a re-badged DS. But new information suggests one model could make its way across the Atlantic: the electric Citroen Ami. However, there’s a catch.
The Citroen Ami is electric, but it’s not exactly a car
Stellantis as a whole offers several EVs, with the Citroen Ami being one of them. However, it’s not actually an electric car. The Ami is legally classified as a quadricycle, Hagerty explains, just like the Microlino. It’s not quite a Polaris Slingshot with an extra wheel, but it’s not far from it.
European quadricycles are roughly analogous to Japanese kei cars, in that both are designed as cheap, easy-to-run urban transportation. And, just like kei cars, quadricycles like the Citroen Ami have engine, output, size, and speed restrictions, TransportPolicy.net explains. As such, some of the little electric Citroen’s specs read more like a motorcycle than a car.
To start, the Citroen Ami only weighs 1010 pounds, and that’s with its battery pack, Top Gear reports. That low curb weight makes sense, though, as the Ami is a two-seater that’s less than eight feet long, Autoweek reports. Its 5.5-kWh battery pack only gives it a 43-mile range. And with an 8-hp electric motor driving the front wheels, the Citroen Ami tops out at 28 mph.
Plus, the electric Citroen isn’t exactly lavishly equipped. There’s no rear-view mirror, for example, and the windows open via flaps, rather than rolling down, Car reports. The passenger’s seat doesn’t even slide, MotorTrend points out. And the only equipment is a digital display, a single-speed fan, a heater, a cupholder, some storage space, and a dock for your smartphone.
But, while it’s not exactly comfortable, the electric quadricycle is fairly spacious and easy to maneuver, especially in heavy traffic. In another two-wheeled nod, Autocar describes driving the Citroen Ami as channeling “the mindset…of a moped rider.”
And while the electric Citroen isn’t exactly fast or big, it also doesn’t have to be crash-tested, GQ reports. Plus, it means in some European countries, you don’t necessarily need a license to drive it, CarThrottle reports. Together with the minimalist interior, this makes the Ami easy to access, cheap to make, and cheap to run.
You’ll be able to drive the Citroen Ami in the US—as a rental
Notice, we didn’t say the Citroen Ami was cheap to buy. That’s not because it’s expensive, though; prices start at roughly $7225. But in Europe customers can choose to lease or rent the Ami instead of buying it. And after a $3000 down payment, the lease only costs $22/month.
Still, you might be thinking this information is useless because there’s no way something like the Citroen Ami could be sold in the US. However, while the US doesn’t recognize quadricycles as vehicles, we do have ‘low-speed vehicles.’ LSVs include things like side-by-sides, golf carts, and the Pickman electric truck. And as long as they have proper mirrors, lights, seat belts, and windshields, they’re street-legal in many states, Polaris explains.
As such, the Citroen Ami wouldn’t have a problem working in the US. And, more to the point, after some initial rumors, it turns out the electric Citroen is coming here, Autoblog reports. But if you want to drive it, you’ll have to rent it.
In Europe, Citroen Ami rentals are handled by Free2Move, a car-sharing service owned by the PSA Group, now Stellantis, Motor1 explains. In 2018, Free2Move started US operations in Washington, DC. And now, concurrently with its expansion into Portland, Free2Move is seemingly bringing the Ami to DC, Road & Track reports. This is based on a teaser image the service posted on its LinkedIn profile that appears to show a silhouetted Ami.
So, good news, French-car fans: a Citroen coming to the States after all. Even if it’s not actually a car.
When will it be available?
As of this writing, Free2Move hasn’t officially announced its Citroen Ami plans. Therefore, we don’t know how much the rental will cost or when rentals will start.
That being said, Free2Move currently lows up to 7-day rentals for roughly $50/day, InsideEVs reports. And its current mileage limit is 500 miles, Motor1 reports.
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