The City One Is the Best New Electric Car for the City

Urban areas are the ultimate proving ground for electric vehicles. Now, mobility company ACM is taking a swing at urban EV transport with the City One. Clearly, the small new EV is taking notes from some of the most successful small, city-oriented EVs, like the Honda E. It’s not just the names that are similar, and that’s not a bad thing. Cleaning up air quality in cities is great, and the City One looks to do that with style (clearly influenced by the Honda E), practicality and zero emissions.

The City One might be the best electric car for the money

The black and silver City One EV, shown with batteries in its matching cart
The City One combines a theoretically unlimited range and big storage into a small package | ACM

So, let’s start with the big one. Obviously, for such a small car, pricing is going to be low. However, I really didn’t think it was going to be this low. Apparently, ACM is going to try and sell these little EVs for around $12-$18,000. Clearly, that’s absurdly cheap. For comparison, a new Honda E with 100-ish miles of range is around double that figure. Then again, there isn’t a lot of badge to pay for on the City One.

Of course, because no one has really heard of the ACM, the German brand knows they need to kill it to make a name for themselves. That said, maybe styling the front just like the Honda E isn’t the best way to make a name for yourself. However, the City One does outshine the E in range, getting around 200 miles or so. Just to recap that’s half the price and double the range compared to the E. Ouch.

Hot-swappable batteries are just a start

ACM beat Tesla to hot-swappable batteries | ACM

If we want to get technical (yes), the City One has “unlimited range.” ACM says you can simply unplug the batteries and swap in new ones like a TV remote. That’s definitely better than waiting at a charger for 45 minutes. If networks in Europe take off, you could conceivably use the City One like a gas car, stopping for 10 minutes or so to change batteries. Unfortunately, you’ll have to empty the cargo space to do so.

Speaking of cargo, you’ll be able to get a lot in the City One. Company promo videos show a massive pallet of water being loaded into the back without issue. In more direct terms, that’s 51 cubic feet of cargo space. Again, recapping, that’s a small EV with gas car-like usability and the narrowest body this side of an anorexic ant. Sounds perfect for cobblestone streets in Europe, right? Right. Because America wouldn’t possibly need anything like that with traffic-clogged highways and poorly planned streets.

Tight urban areas are perfect for the City One

The orange and black interior of the City One
The One certainly has a rugged interior | ACM

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Unfortunately, that was a long and very angry way to say that America won’t be getting the City One, just like we didn’t get the Hona E. This little Kei car-inspired van just isn’t going to sell well among all Ford Broncos and Hummer EVs we’ll be seeing on the streets over the coming years.