Stellantis to Test Citron Ami on U.S. Customers?

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Stellantis appears interested in testing America’s appetite for extremely small and highly European EVs. The formerly PSA-owned rental company Free2Move recently posted the silhouette of the Citroën Ami accompanied by text hinting that the vehicle would be imported for use in Washington, D.C.

Launched in 1961, the Ami (French for “friend”) started life as a petite four-door, front-wheel-drive economy car that came in numerous body styles. While it has the honor of being one of the first vehicles in history to adopt rectangular headlamps was, and widely known as the “premium” alternative to the triumph of minimalism that was the Citroën 2CV, it was by no means a swift or lavish automobile. Its ability to reach 60 mph was highly dependent upon the incline of the road and how much cargo it was hauling.

The new Ami abandons the pint-sized 602 cc of the original (1015 cc in the Ami Super) for a 6-kW electric motor and only has two doors. But they remain highly similar in their general concepts, with simplicity as the key.

Like the original, the Ami EV was designed to be affordable transportation with everything else being an afterthought. Its status as a quadricycle (rather than a fully-fledged automobile) also opens it up to be driven in France without a license by people born before 1988 and those age 14 (or older) that have taken the initial steps toward getting one with the proper accreditations.

Is it likely to be a smash hit here in the states? We doubt it.

The 5.5-kWh battery keeps roundtrips below 50 miles and it’s not legally allowed to exceed 28 mph. That really limits where the model can go and will undoubtedly relegate it to urban landscapes, which is also usually the case in France. While purchasable in Europe, many Ami’s become rental vehicles for city dwellers who need more cargo space than a bicycle and backpack can provide. In fact, Free2Move already uses them for its car-sharing service across the pond.

Wildly unsuited for our market, the Ami remains a charming, basic automobile. Your author is actually excited about the prospect of driving one of these karts since it’s incredibly rare to see something quite this small or simple inside North America. But nobody will be buying them.

[Images: Citroën]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • AZFelix Fun duo who lived and worked in China for many years have a candid and crushing assessment on their EV manufacturing.
  • Vatchy Just think how many electric vehicles could be charged from a new nuclear power plant...
  • Arthur Dailey 'The capitalists will sell use the very rope that we use to hang them.' In our household we have cut down our shopping/spending and pay more to purchase products from 1st world nations or 2nd world nations that are our 'allies'. That also means quite often only buying and eating fruit and vegetables that are in season. Just like our parents and grandparents did.At least TTAC published an article on May 21st regarding LAN transformers that contravene the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act being used in some BMW, Jaguar, Land Rover, and VW products?
  • ToolGuy I wouldn't buy any old Chinese brand of vehicle, but the right EV at the right price, maybe possibly yes. If you told me this would alarm Ford and torque off FreedMike, all the better. 😉P.S. I would *definitely* consider an EV made in Taiwan. Take that, paramount leader!P.P.S. China batteries/components to convert one of my ICE vehicles to EV? Yes.
  • Wolfwagen I expect Renault to be less popular than Fiat
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