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Are you able to really live with a Citroen Ami? We put the dinky EV to the test

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‘I met this automotive on Friday, took it for a drink on Sunday, we were on the recycling centre by Wednesday…’

Ladies, gentlemen, Craig David enthusiasts… say ‘bonjour’ to the electrical Citroen Ami. It’s Britain’s most cost-effective, smallest, slowest and shortest-range latest automotive on sale today.

Could you reside with one on a each day basis? Or, on this case, can I live with one for seven days? 

I’m setting out this week to finish seven typical each day tasks to see whether it is a feasible alternative to the motor in your driveway. Come join me…

Could you reside with this on daily basis? The Citroen Ami is Britain’s most cost-effective, smallest, slowest and shortest-range automotive. We have put one to the test for the week setting it seven chores and tasks in seven days

Initially, what the hell is it?

For starters, it is not a ‘automotive’. The Ami technically qualifies as a ‘light quadricycle’, which we double-checked with Citroen and have been assured that that is the case. Meaning a 16-year-old CAN legally drive one on roads with only a moped licence.

Citroen Ami: Will it slot in my garage?

Price: from £7,695

Seats: 2

Length: 2.41 metres 

Width: 1.39 metres (excluding mirrors)

Height: 1.52 metres

Wheels: 14-inch

Power: 8bhp electric motor

Battery: 5.5kW  

Top speed: 28mph 

Range: As much as 46 miles

Weight with battery: 485kg

Turning circle: 7.2 metres 

Charging time: 3 hours (from standard domestic socket)

Its oddball vehicle classification also means it doesn’t need any of the security equipment manufacturers are mandated to bundle into latest passenger cars. So it has zero airbags. No crash crumple zones. Not a single electronic safety aid. It doesn’t even have anti-lock brakes, which have been a legal requirement since 2004.

At 2.4 metres long, 1.4 metres wide and 1.5 metres tall, it is a glorified shoebox on wheels. And performance is equally diminutive, with power supplied by a 5.5kW battery and 8bhp electric motor driving the front wheels. 

Along with your foot pinned to the ground, it could actually’t exceed a 30mph speed limit. 

The battery lasts ‘as much as 46 miles’ – says Citroen. And it takes three hours to charge using a traditional three-pin domestic plug and socket.

Inside, there are two seats, a steering wheel and… well, that is about it. It’s sparse to say the least. 

Citroen says it’s the reply to ‘urban mobility’. 

A whole lot of Ami rentals line Parisian streets, which you’ll be able to hire for just €0.26-a-minute (with a subscription fee of €9.90 per 30 days). It’s probably nicer – and more hygienic – than taking the Metro. 

And also you need not have any type of licence to drive one in France!

Anyone as young as 14 with a ‘voiture sans permis’ – a certificate to indicate you’ve got passed a basic road safety course – can hit the road. And since a licence is not required, they’re [reportedly] proving popular among the many country’s fraternity of disqualified motorists. ‘The drink-driver’s vehicle of alternative’ probably is not a slogan you will see on promoting billboards, though.

Here within the UK, you’ll be able to buy one outright for £7,695 (or monthly payments of £99.58 on finance). That’ll get you the entry-level version – which is what I’m driving. It has no funky hubcaps, exterior stickers or floor mats like higher trim levels. Basic, it actually is. 

The most costly version is the Ami Tonic, which rings in at a staggering £8,695. That is loads of money for not very much vehicle.

Oh, and they’ll only sell you one with the steering wheel on the LEFT.

Sparse, it certainly is. Bar the main controls, there's a USB socket, heater function with one speed, screen demister and hazard warning light button. While you're packed in, the glass roof and square windows at least make it feel airy

Sparse, it actually is. Bar the principal controls, there is a USB socket, heater function with one speed, screen demister and hazard warning light button. Whilst you’re packed in, the glass roof and square windows no less than make it feel airy

In France, anyone from the age of 14 can drive one without a licence. You can also  hire an Ami on a short-term basis in Paris. For ¿0.26-a-minute (with a subscription fee of ¿9.90 per month) you can whizz around the capital's streets. It's probably nicer - and more hygienic - than taking the Metro or a bus

In France, anyone from the age of 14 can drive one with no licence. You can too  hire an Ami on a short-term basis in Paris. For €0.26-a-minute (with a subscription fee of €9.90 per 30 days) you’ll be able to whizz across the capital’s streets. It’s probably nicer – and more hygienic – than taking the Metro or a bus

The aim of my week-long loan is to see if the Ami is as much as the duty of performing every type of typical each day chores. 

While it is a vehicle primarily geared toward city dwellers, I’m not one. I do, nevertheless, live in a big market town with EV charging infrastructure, a bustling high street, business parks and many amenities. It’s middle Britain, which makes this the best testbed.

I’ve kept a strict record of every journey, including the skin temperature, weather conditions and which features were used to grasp the impact on the Ami’s range and if it lives as much as Citroen’s claims.

FRIDAY: Delivery and a visit to the train station to gather the mother-in-law

Like unpacking a Matchbox toy: The car arrives in the morning on the back of a trailer. All Ami press vehicle have a comical registration number. There'll be plenty of 'monkeying around' in the little Citroen in the week ahead...

Like unpacking a Matchbox toy: The automotive arrives within the morning on the back of a trailer. All Ami press vehicle have a comical registration number. There will be loads of ‘monkeying around’ within the little Citroen within the week ahead… 

The Ami arrives via a twin-wheel trailer hitched to the back of a Citroen SUV.  So puny are its dimensions that seeing it appear from its transportation unit is like watching a baby taking a Matchbox toy out of its packaging.

Paperwork signed and the keys handed over, I’m going for a fast blast to familiarise myself with my latest surroundings. I have been in phoneboxes greater – and with more buttons – so it doesn’t take long. Yet, I still manage to knock 9 miles off the indicated range.

And on this short space of time there are already gripes that can annoy me during the week.

Early gripes that are constant annoyances: The drive select controls being located down to the left side of the seat make it difficult to see the buttons The 2CV-style flip-up windows often clatter into the wing mirrors when trying to re-adjust them

Early gripes which can be constant annoyances: The drive select controls being situated right down to the left side of the seat make it hard to operate. The 2CV-style flip-up windows may to clatter into the wing mirrors when attempting to adjust them

The first chore is to head to the local train station to collect the mother-in-law. She's not impressed with the free taxi ride...

The primary chore is to move to the local train station to gather the mother-in-law. She’s not impressed with the free taxi ride…

Firstly, the control panel to pick drive, reverse and neutral is – irritatingly – situated to the left side of the seat, on the ground where the chair mounts to the chassis. When you’re wearing an extended coat, dress or bulky jacket, you’ll be able to’t see which buttons you are pressing.

FRIDAY: Taxi from the train station

Distance: 2.2 miles

Range used: 3 miles (from 37 to 34 miles)

Efficiency vs claim: -27% (approx)

Conditions: Daytime, dry, clear, 15 degrees

Road type: All 30mph urban

Features used: None 

Occupants: 1 for half the journey/2 for the opposite half

Then there’s the 2CV-inspired flip-up windows, which clatter into the wing mirrors should you’ve adjusted them to see how close you might be to a kerb.

Finally, the smartphone holder is flimsier than Matt Hancock’s grasp of Covid lockdown rules – there is not any way I’d trust it to not launch my iPhone across the cabin.

Shortly after the Ami’s introductory ‘shakedown’, I’m off to the train station for the automotive’s first port of call: collecting the mother-in-law.

She’s horrified on the sight as I swing into the automotive park, gurning gleefully as I approach in what’s the tiniest automotive she’s set her eyes on in 60-plus years. 

She hates every second of the 1.1-mile journey home, shrinking into the seat to shield herself from the constant finger-points the Ami attracts from passers-by. 

She refuses to be seen in it again.

The two.2-mile round trip to the station in dry, balmy 15-degree temperatures sees the indicated range fall from 37 to 34 miles. 

SATURDAY: A [unsuccessful] trip to the DIY store

Other DIY stores are available. A fruitless journey across town to complete a DIY job on day 2 at least delivers plenty of fun...

Other DIY stores can be found. A fruitless journey across town to finish a DIY job on day 2 no less than delivers loads of fun…

It is the weekend, which implies just one thing on this household – DIY jobs. Which calls for a visit to the local ironmongery store.

SATURDAY: Nipping to the ironmongery store

Distance: 4.6 miles

Range used: 6 miles (from 35 to 29 miles)

Efficiency vs claim: -23% (approx)

Conditions: Daytime, dry, clear, 15 degrees

Road type: All 30mph urban

Features used: None

Occupants: 1

It’s the primary time I’ve taken the Ami down the high street, and it garners loads of attention – be it chuckles, expletives or that gooey-eyed look strangers give a newborn baby. It’s something you’d simply must get used to should you’re going to own one.

The remaining leg of the journey is a foot-to-the-floor sprint to the economic estate on the outskirts of town via free-flowing 30mph roads.

The little Citroen copes amicably and keeps pace with the remaining of the traffic. It fairly quickly accelerates to its 28mph top speed, so that you do not feel such as you’re holding anyone up. 

Its combination of kart-like suspension and direct steering means that you can skittle around mini roundabouts without barely needing to lift off the throttle. Momentarily no less than, I can open a niche to the cars behind.

Yet the two.3-mile trip to B&Q proves fruitless. This idiot forgot to ascertain if the item needed is in stock.

The 4.6-mile round trip wipes 6 miles off the indicated distance. I’m already starting to sense that the ‘as much as 46 miles’ range claim is a tad optimistic. 

SUNDAY: Ami meets Amy for a visit out for a pub lunch…

'It feels like I'm driving a dodgem!' Despite some initial hesitancy about getting behind the wheel, Amy quickly fell for the Ami's unique characteristics

‘It looks like I’m driving a dodgem!’ Despite some initial hesitancy about getting behind the wheel, Amy quickly fell for the Ami’s unique characteristics

While flat-out on yesterday’s futile journey, I did no less than notice an area pub we have yet to go to, which inspired today’s trip out for Sunday lunch – combined with collecting the pre-ordered DIY item from yesterday’s failed outing.

To get a second perspective on what it’s wish to drive, I convinced Citroen so as to add my wife to the insurance policy. Meaning it is time for Amy to take the wheel of the Ami.

Being an electric-car virgin, she’s already hesitant about how it’s going to feel in comparison with her petrol automotive. 

The tube of bathroom sealant I really needed has arrived in store. Hurrah! Who says married life isn't exciting?

The tube of loo sealant I actually needed has arrived in store. Hurrah! Who says married life is not exciting?

Threading the Ami between two far larger motors at the pub is no problem with its tight turning circle Is it something I said? The Ami cuts a lonely figure in the car park, which has completely emptied by the time we left...

Threading the Ami between two far larger motors on the pub is not any problem with its tight turning circle. With no engine under the bonnet, the front wheels can turn to taxi-like angles, making parking a doddle

And the four-wheeled namesake doesn’t make the best of first impressions. 

SUNDAY: Sunday lunch for 2

Distance: 4.6 miles

Range used: 6 miles (from 29 to 23 miles)

Efficiency vs claim: -23% (approx)

Conditions: Daytime, dry, clear, 15 degrees

Road type: All 30mph urban

Features used: None 

Occupants: 2 (plus a can of sealant for half the journey)

The tin-can clunk of the doors closing, relatively rudimentary cabin, and all-round sensation of being smaller than the rest with 4 wheels does little to instill any initial confidence. 

But inside minutes, she’s in her element. The truth is, as she joyfully pitches the Ami into corners I fear I won’t see the keys for the remaining 4 days.

In a fit of giggles, she describes the driving characteristics as ‘like a dodgem on the fairground’. That is a worry. I won’t tell her concerning the lack of safety features.

But it surely reaffirms my very own feelings concerning the Ami and the way much fun it’s to drive. You’d need a heart of stone to not enjoy sitting on the wheel. 

On arrival for lunch, there’s one available automobile parking space within the pub automotive park – and it’s between two relatively enormous family motors. Amy has to spin the automotive round to return to it, which is not any problem with the Ami able to rotating 360 degrees inside an area spanning just 7.2 metres. And the taxi-like turning circle makes threading the Citroen into the bay a doddle.

Returning home, it’s promising to see that we have used the identical amount of range (6 miles) when repeating yesterday’s journey distance with an addition occupant.

MONDAY: ‘Can I get a big fries with my small automotive?’

'Is that the toy you get free with the kids meal?' Navigating a narrow, twisting drive-thru was never going to be the issue for the Ami, but getting the goods into the car and then safely storing them on the journey home was predictably taxing

‘Is that the toy you get free with the children meal?’ Navigating a narrow, twisting drive-thru was never going to be the difficulty for the Ami, but getting the products into the automotive after which safely storing them on the journey home was predictably taxing

A real test of a automotive is how well it manages fast-food drive-thrus. They’re narrow, twisty and with high kerbs on either side. Big SUV drivers hate them, and it’s why McDonalds, KFC and co have kept wheel repairers in business for many years.

MONDAY: The drive-thru test

Distance: 4.4 miles

Range used: 7 miles (from 23 to 16 miles)

Efficiency: -37% (approx)

Conditions: Daytime, raining, foggy, 13 degrees

Road type: All 30mph urban

Features used: Windscreen wipers, heater and screen demister (in any respect times) 

Occupants: 2 (plus 2 regular meals for half the journey)

Navigating the snaking route was never going to be a problem for the microscopic Ami… it’s what happens next that makes this proving ground a selected focal point.

A left-hand-drive-only layout means grabbing a calorific order from the gathering point is a two-person job. Though I can confirm that – with a struggle – a medium-size drink can go through the 2CV-style window slot at an angle with zero spillage. As can two regular meals, though you’ve gotten to pad them down within the paper bag first.

But it surely’s the dearth of storage and cubbies to maintain protected your fast food delights that causes the large headache here. 

There are two cup holders – one behind the steering wheel and one other against the windscreen – though neither prove suitable. It turns the two.2-mile trip home into a fragile balancing act, compounded by the Ami’s bone-rattling suspension.

Higher-spec models get – vivid orange – plastic organiser inserts that fit into the highest of the dashboard to carry lose items. These would have come in useful on this occasion.

Today’s journey is the primary of the week in inclement weather. It’s noticeably colder and constant rain means the heater, screen demister and window wipers (which annoyingly clip the side of the windscreen frame) are on during the 4.4-mile round trip. 

And this has an impact, slashing range efficiency by over a 3rd.

TUESDAY: A bottom-clenching scenario to finish a weekly shop

It's the time of the week I hate most - grocery shopping... This occasion is set to be more painful than ever, as the 1.6-mile road between Aldi and Tesco is mostly a 60mph national limit. That's an unnerving thought in a car that maxes out at 28...

It is the time of the week I hate most – grocery shopping. This occasion is about to be more painful than ever, because the 1.6-mile road between Aldi and Tesco is usually a 60mph national limit. That is an unnerving thought in a automotive that maxes out at 28 

Two large bags of shopping onboard, there isn't very much space in terms of passenger leg room. Fortunately, it's only a short 1.4-mile blast on 30mph roads to get home...

Two large bags of shopping onboard, there is not very much space by way of passenger leg room. Fortunately, it’s only a brief 1.4-mile blast on 30mph roads to get home…

Here's the passenger footwell storage area in all its glory. The Ami's interior designer must be playing a cruel joke with that suitcase icon...

Here’s the passenger footwell storage area in all its glory. The Ami’s interior designer have to be playing a cruel joke with that suitcase icon… 

It’s that dreaded time of the week: the universally-hated food shop – the chore of all chores. 

With no boot, space for storing for groceries is at a premium and limited mostly to the passenger footwell. That is – hilariously – highlighted as a ‘luggage zone’ by a suitcase icon etched into the plastic floor panel – I’m not so sure it would handle one packed for a fortnight in Tenerife!

TUESDAY: Doing the weekly shop

Distance: 5.2 miles

Range used: 7 miles (from 16 to 9 miles)

Efficiency: -26% (approx)

Conditions: Late evening, dry, clear, 12 degrees

Road type: Mixture of 30mph urban and short burst of national speed limit road

Features used: Heater used partially

Occupants: 2 (plus per week of purchasing for half the journey)

In the primary of a two-part tour, the storage area swallows one shopping bag brimmed with Aldi’s finest. But it surely’s now time to move to Tesco to get the remaining items on our list – and a moment I have been fearing all day…

Probably the most direct route is 1.6 miles, though one mile of this can be a single-carriageway road with a national speed limit. This presents the primary instance of taking the Citroen on a road with a limit twice its top speed. We could chicken out and circle back through town, though that might be 3.6 miles door-to-door – and I’m already getting a bit twitchy concerning the remaining range that is creeping closer to single figures.

These are the forms of decisions you never must make in a ‘normal’ automotive.

But within the aim of thorough consumer testing, I resolve to brave the shorter option.

I thank my lucky stars that it’s late evening and traffic volumes are low. Still, we’re overtaken by seven vehicles on this mile-long – bottom-clenched – experiment. These passing drivers are generally not best pleased about fast approaching what must look to them like a pedal automotive on a public highway, and there is loads of flashing and hooting to precise their outrage when flying by. It makes the experience only that bit more unsettling. 

The tethered charging cable can be unwound from an opening inside the passenger door While you can plug into a domestic socket with a thin-pin plug (pictured left), the adaptor lets you also fit a type 2 connecter (pictured right)

The tethered charging cable could be unwound from a gap contained in the passenger door. While you’ll be able to plug right into a domestic socket with a thin-pin plug (pictured left), the adaptor allows you to also fit a kind 2 connecter (pictured right)

A 2 hour and 38 minute charge boosts the battery almost back to full capacity, and at a cost of just £1.33. That's good going considering it will provide around 2 hours of driving time

A 2 hour and 38 minute charge boosts the battery almost back to full capability, and at a value of just £1.33. That is good going considering it would provide around 2 hours of driving time

The courageous outing also comes at a further cost on top of my partially-shaken nerves –  the Ami’s battery status.

It has taken 7 miles off the range for a 5.2-mile journey. This has pushed the available mileage to only 9, so on return home I resolve it is time to bite the bullet and plug it in.

Handily, the Ami’s charging cable is attached and stores in an open panel contained in the passenger door. While you’ll be able to plug right into a domestic socket, there is a 7kW charger only yards from the front door, so I swap the traditional three-pin plug for the kind 2 connecter also supplied with the vehicle. 

The automotive park is free for 3 hours, so I plug in for two hours and 38 minutes. It adds 4.6kW to the battery at a value of £1.33. The range ticks as much as 43 miles, which ought to be enough for one more two hours of driving.

WEDNESDAY: Taking the Ami to preview its fate

Some might say I didn't need much if an excuse to give the Ami a glimpse of its eventual recycled fate. It's certainly not the biggest load to take to a waste disposal site. Citroen has saved money by providing no adjustment in the passenger seat - these flattened cardboard boxes show just how much leg room a second occupant will have

Some might say I didn’t need much if an excuse to provide the Ami a glimpse of its eventual recycled fate. It’s actually not the largest load to take to a waste disposal site. Citroen has saved money by providing no adjustment within the passenger seat – these flattened cardboard boxes show just how much leg room a second occupant may have

Almost every other vehicle on the road dwarfs the Citroen. This Range Rover is a perfect comparison of the difference in dimension

Almost every other vehicle on the road dwarfs the Citroen. This Range Rover is an ideal comparison of the difference in dimension

'No metal or electricals': The Ami has survived this visit to the recycling centre...

‘No metal or electricals’: The Ami has survived this visit to the recycling centre…

Almost every latest automotive that enters the market today is ‘sustainable’. Manufacturers are falling over themselves to let you know how much of their expensive machines could be lobbed in a recycling bin, and the Ami is not any different. 

WEDNESDAY: Run to the recycling centre

Distance: 2.0 miles

Range used: 4 miles (from 43 to 39 miles)

Efficiency: -50% (approx)

Conditions: Daytime, clear, wet, 12 degrees

Road type: All 30mph urban

Features used: Windscreen wipers, heater and screen demister (in any respect times) 

Occupants: 1 (plus some cardboard for half the journey)

Citroen says that each part is ‘100 per cent recyclable’, aside from the battery – and that is claimed to be 85 per cent recyclable.​ So it only seems fitting that I take my micro machine to see where it would eventually find yourself with a visit to the recycling centre.

As is the case in most households in mid-November, an early spree of online Christmas shopping has resulted in an abundance of cardboard, presenting the proper excuse to load the Ami.

In fact, we do not have much to move, however the local waste disposal site has a horny feature for this test’s purposes – an access ramp with a steep incline. Packing a paltry 8bhp, it could be the Ami’s nemesis, I believe.

It’s not. 

With barely any run-up, I scale the slope, flattened boxes and all, with no blip. I shouldn’t have doubted it.

The looks of the pocket automotive among the many SUVs, estates and vans used to get rid of heaps of junk quickly attracts a crowd. I lose count of conversations with folks cradling knackered microwaves and tree trimmings.

So far as ice breakers go, that is the most effective there’s on 4 wheels.

THURSDAY: The Ami’s final workout 

Colder temperatures and need to use heating features clearly has an impact on the range. While this is the case for all electric cars - which are proven to be less efficient when the degrees drop - it is more of a prominent headache when you have a maximum of only 46 miles to play with. The final journey to the gym (pictured) and back is 1.8 miles, but uses 4 miles of range

Colder temperatures and wish to make use of heating features clearly has an impact on the range. While that is the case for all electric cars – that are proven to be less efficient when the degrees drop – it’s more of a outstanding headache when you’ve gotten a maximum of only 46 miles to play with. The ultimate journey to the gym (pictured) and back is 1.8 miles, but uses 4 miles of range

It’s almost time to say ‘au revoir’ to the Ami, but not before one final jaunt to the gym, which is just 1.8 miles way.

THURSDAY: Late-night gym session

Distance: 1.8 miles

Range used: 4 miles (from 39 to 35 miles)

Efficiency: -55% (approx)

Conditions: Late evening, clear, dry, 9 degrees

Road type: All 30mph urban

Features used: Heater and screen demister (in any respect times) 

Occupants: 2

I often delay my infrequent workouts until late to avoid the early-evening rush, and this implies the temperature is kind of a bit lower than the Ami has endured to date within the week.

The cooler 9 degrees means the Ami’s heater is required each ways, glugging away on the battery’s reserves.

The screen demister also gets put to work and is a necessity for the return trip to forestall all of the post-treadmill panting from foggying frontward visibility.

In total, it costs me 4 miles in range. That is around 55 per cent down on the promised efficiency. Ouch! It’s pretty clear that wintery conditions would not do the Citroen many favours. 

And it’s price noting that the heating functions combined make a colossal racket – close your eyes and you possibly can mistake the loud clatter for being inside an Amazon picking factory, not a automotive that is sufficiently small to be delivered through your letterbox.

Refinement actually is not the Ami’s forte. 

VERDICT: Are you able to live with a Citroen Ami?

Many people will scoff at the Ami's paltry 46-mile range. But this is a car designed only for short journeys, so you're unlikely to ever get caught short

Many individuals will scoff on the Ami’s paltry 46-mile range. But this can be a automotive designed only for brief journeys, so that you’re unlikely to ever get caught short

While range isn't our issue, the top speed of 28mph is. Driving it on a road with a speed limit of 40mph or more will make you a persistent pain for other motorists

While range is not our issue, the highest speed of 28mph is. Driving it on a road with a speed limit of 40mph or more will make you a persistent pain for other motorists

My week-long test is proof that it is feasible to live with the Citroen Ami inside its own parameters – though it won’t at all times be comfortable or practical.

Plenty of individuals scoff on the paltry battery range, but, for me anyway, that is not an issue. This is not a automotive you purchase expecting to trot up and down the country – it is a each day driver for those mundane, short-distance chores, and because of this you are unlikely to be travelling far enough to be caught short and the battery run flat.

That said, our test found it isn’t as electricity-efficient as Citroen says. We covered a complete of 24.8 record miles within the week, and that took an indicated 37 miles off the battery range, which is 49 per cent lower than claimed.

If nothing else, the Ami’s biggest USP is that it will provide you with face-ache from persistent smiles 

But while range is not an enormous issue, the 28mph top speed is. It ultimately restricts you to residential and concrete streets only, unless you need to be a pain within the backside for other drivers on 40mph-plus roads – and provides yourself a fright among the many much faster-moving traffic.

Yet it is the £7,695 asking price that’s the most important obstacle here. It’s loads of money for thus many limitations. When the Ami was originally touted for the UK market, we thought it will arrive for just below £5,000, which might have made it a much more appealing prospect.

For around £8,000 you possibly can get a second-hand city automotive with an efficient three-cylinder petrol engine, like a three-year-old Skoda CitoGo or Seat Mii with around 30,000 miles on the clock, five seats, a boot, and all of the essential safety features that can save your life in a shunt.

That said, if going green is top of your list for a runaround, the Ami could still be a horny proposal.

In our seven-day test it cost somewhere between 2p to 3p a mile. That is really impressive, and might be far cheaper should you charge at home and have a competitive energy tariff [not likely at the moment, I know]. As compared, a petroleum city automotive delivers roughly 60mpg, which, at current fuel prices (161.90p-a-litre on 23 November) works out at around 12p per mile – 4 times as much as the electrical Citroen.

If nothing else, the Ami’s biggest USP is that it will provide you with face-ache from persistent smiles. By way of joy factor, it’s ten-out-of-ten motoring.

Another of the Ami's problems is the £7,695 asking price, which is a major obstacle. That's a of money for so many limitations

One other of the Ami’s problems is the £7,695 asking price, which is a serious obstacle. That is a of cash for thus many limitations

If nothing else, the Ami delivers on the fun scale. While it might not be up to being a practical daily motor, it will generate lots of smiles along the way

If nothing else, the Ami delivers on the fun scale. While it won’t be as much as being a practical each day motor, it would generate plenty of smiles along the best way

Citroen Ami frequently-asked questions (from Google and the general public who bent my ear all week!)

Q: Is it legal?

A: Yes. The Ami can legally be driven in Britain.

Q: Is it a automotive?

A: No. Citroen officials tell us that the Ami is assessed within the UK as an ‘L6 light quadricycle’.

Q: Are you able to get one with the steering wheel on the correct?

A: No. Citroen is barely producing them in left-hand-drive, which is usually to maintain manufacturing costs as little as possible. 

Q: Do you would like a full licence to drive one? 

A: The DVLA says you you would like either an AM moped licence or full ‘Category B’ driving licence to get behind the wheel of an Ami within the UK. The previous means anyone as young as 16 can drive one in Britain.  

In France, it qualifies as a ‘sans permis’ vehicle, meaning you do not need a licence in any respect, only a basic road safety certificate that could be acquired by people as young as 14.

Q: Why do the doors open in opposite directions?

A: The motive force’s door is rear-hinged (‘suicide’ style) and the passenger door is – more conventionally – front-hinged. 

That is in order that an identical parts could be used on either side of the automotive to maintain production costs low. This also explains why the front and rear of the automotive are the identical shape.

The driver's 'suicide' door is rear-hinged The passenger door is - more conventionally - front-hinged

Spot the difference: The motive force’s ‘suicide’ door (left) is rear-hinged and the passenger door (right) is – more conventionally – front-hinged. The front and rear section of the automotive can be an identical. That is so Citroen has to provide the fewest different parts to make them, which is a component of the bid to maintain its manufacturing costs low

Q: Does it have a radio?

A: Type of. You possibly can download the My Ami Play app to your smartphone and use it within the device holder (should you dare). 

Your phone then becomes your infotainment unit for which you’ll be able to access navigation, music, radio and make hands-free calls. 

Q: What are the service intervals?

A: Every two years or every 12,500 miles (whichever comes first). Citroen recommends servicing is carried out through the Ami Authorised Repairer network.

Q: If it is not a automotive, how do you insure it?

A: There isn’t any specific category for insuring a Citroen Ami like there’s for conventional motorcars. Most insurance providers will have the ability to supply a quote for it as a quadricycle and customers can get cover from Citroen directly. 

Owners should shop around for specialist insurance cover, though this should not be expensive.

Q: Are you able to drive one on the motorway?

A: No. You are legally not allowed to drive an Ami on a motorway.

Q: Are you able to tow it?

A: With just 8bhp, the Ami is clearly not a vehicle you are going to use to tow a trailer. Nonetheless, what about towing it behind a camper van to make use of as a secondary vehicle?

Citroen doesn’t provide any suggestion about this, though it does clarify that you need to not tow an electrical automotive with the driven wheels (front wheels on this case) on the road because it could actually cause damage to the electrical motor. 

Q: How briskly does it charge? 

A: The Ami’s charging cable and plug is built into the bodywork and has two adaptors. 

The primary is a three-pin plug that means that you can charge from any domestic socket at a speed of 2kW – a full charge takes 3 hours. 

The second is a Type 2 connector that might be compatible with public charging points. Nonetheless, the Type 2 connector doesn’t increase charging speeds – you’ll still only get 2kW when using a public device.

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