An auto executive explains why the company’s $7,000 tiny electric vehicle that 14-year-olds can drive is the future of urban transit

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French automaker Citroen has created a “non-conformist” electric urban mobility unit that can be driven by 14-year-olds.

The Ami first started as an award-winning concept under a nearly identical name: the Ami One Concept, which was unveiled in 2019. A year later, Citroen debuted the official commercial iteration of the Ami online, and the quadricycle is now available for purchase online, at the automaker’s dealerships, and at several Fnac and Darty retail stores in Europe.

According to a report by The Guardian, Citroen sold 500 units in the first night. 

Several aspects of the concept Ami One also made its way into the Ami, including the symmetrical exterior design that’s reflected in the semi-openable windows and the direction that the two doors open towards, to name a few examples.

According to Laliron, Citroen didn’t want to copy the look of a car. Instead, it aimed to create a new four-wheeler unit with a “strong and friendly design.”

“It looks like Ami is coming from a cartoon, and I can tell you that people in Paris smile when they see it in the street,” Anne Laliron, head of future products at Citroёn, told Business Insider in an email interview.

Driving isn’t just for older teenagers or adults anymore.

Despite its four-wheeled vehicle-like appearance, Ami isn’t a car: technically, it’s a quadricycle, a European designation for tiny cars that are limited in weight, speed, and power.

This means the two-seater electric mobility unit doesn’t require a driver’s license to operate, making it accessible to people as young as 14-years-old in France.

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The idea of drivers even younger than 16-years-old may be frightening to some people, but there are multiple reasons for this young entry age, which is made possible and safe with Ami’s steel structure that makes it more secure than a bicycle or a moped, according to Laliron

“Ami will provide more autonomy and freedom to teenagers,” Laliron wrote. “Parents will be happy not to have to bring their teenagers to school or any activity.”

“Teenagers with their Ami can go to school and pick up their friends even in winter,” Laliron continued. “It’s also better in terms of safety compared to public transport in some areas and time slots.”

Ami — which was designed to bridge the gap between public transit and micro-mobility units like bicycles and scooters —  serves as a “clever solution” to urban mobility, and may represent the future of transportation in both cities and countryside towns, according to Laliron.

“People are facing many constraints: urban traffic congestion, pressure on purchasing power, the need for an ecological transition,” Laliron wrote. “At Citroen, we wanted to provide a new urban mobility concept helping our customers in their day to day trips.”

A subscription payment model and electric vehicles are the future.

In line with recent transit trends, the Ami is fully electric with a 5.5-kilowatt-hour battery that allows the unit to achieve up to about 27.96 miles-per-hour with a range of about 46.6 miles.

And unlike shiny new electric cars, the Ami doesn’t require a …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech


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