£6k Citroen Ami electric city car gets green light for the UK
The Ami is coming to the UK with a price tag of around £6,000, making it one of the cheapest ways to get a new car today
The news was confirmed by Citroen CEO Vincent Cobée who told Auto Express, “We have agreed and decided that we will bring Ami to the UK as it is – as a left-hand drive car – in the early part of next year.”
Citroen has already had over 12,000 people in the UK register their interest in Ami, with order books now open so cars can be reserved with a £250 refundable fee.
Auto Express understands that Ami prices in the UK are expected to be close to those in Europe. In France, the basic Ami costs €6,990 (£5,945) rising to €8,350 (£7,119) for the My Ami Vibe.
However, UK cars will come with a Type 2 EV charging adaptor in addition to a three-pin plug, which may add a little to the price; Citroen hopes to get it as close to European prices as possible, though. Otherwise, the car will remain unchanged in the UK with four different trim levels likely, plus the commercial Cargo version, expected over here, too.
Citroen Ami: range and charging
The Ami – winner of the 2021 Auto Express Technology Award – is powered by an 8bhp motor fed by a 5.5kWh battery, giving it a range of up to 46 miles and a top speed of 28mph. A full charge from either plug will take three hours.
Using innovative, lightweight body panels, the Ami weighs just 485kg and has a turning circle of just 7.2 meters. At 2,410mm in length there are only seats for two inside and no boot – instead there’s space for a standard plane-cabin-sized piece of luggage. There’s no fancy touchscreen, either, just a holder for the driver’s smartphone, although there is a large glass roof to give a good view up as well as forward.
The Ami is classed as a quadricycle rather than a car, which means that currently it’s not eligible for the plug-in car grant. And unlike on the continent you will have to be a minimum of 17 years old to drive an Ami in the UK.
Citroen CEO Vincent Cobée on the Citroen Ami
Cobée is hoping that Citroen UK can replicate some of the leasing deals on offer in France. “It’s available on lease in France for below a mobile phone subscription,” he told us. “You can put €3,000 down and the monthly subscription is a mobile phone subscription [from €20 a month], or you put €1,000 down and the monthly subscription is the same as a subway pass [from €69 a month].”
In spite of the low leasing costs, just 25% of Ami buyers go for that option. “So far most people who buy it, actually buy it,” said Cobée.
Citroen is promising a revolution in the way Ami is bought, too, as Cobée explained: “There’s only one way you can buy an Ami – online. You can go to a dealer, see and test the car and ask the dealer to order the car, but they’ll order the car in your name online. We’re starting with the assumption of tomorrow’s economy, not today’s economy.”
Cobée admitted that the work done by Citroen UK MD Eurig Druce and his team has persuaded him to bring the car to the UK. “We never planned it for the UK,” said Cobée, “But Eurig said ‘I’ll show you I can sell it.’ This is the type of business I like.”
Druce said, “It’s so Citroen! One of my jobs is to build our brand image and reputation – this car delivers that message better than any advertising campaign.
“You look at the vehicle as left hand drive – is it a problem? You’re not that far away from the right-hand side anyway so I think that’s irrelevant. And I’ve got 12,000 people who’ve registered their interest already – they’re people in cities and in rural areas.”
Druce also revealed that he hoped that the Ami could be introduced with innovative car sharing options. “You cannot have a car that innovative and drive it conventionally,” he said. “People are buying it with cash, but I would love to see collections of Amis on street corners where it could become the norm to not get an Uber, but to get an Ami.”
Click here to find out what happened when the Citroen Ami joined our long termer fleet...