“Citroën has shaken up the electric car market like no other brand before”


How’s that for a series of events? Last winter, the Citroën Ami won its first major trophy: World Vehicle of the Year. At the start of the summer, he received the Auto Express Technology Award. Then in August at the British Motor Show, car freaks lined up to see the most talked about and photographed vehicle there.

A few weeks later, the happiest story of the year arrived: Citroën will sell the Ami in the UK. It should have a spot price of around £ 6,000. Additionally, the company told me that although cell phone-like contracts, around £ 40 per month, can be offered here as well as in France, such deals require deposits of one or three. thousand dollars. Low or no deposit contracts are of more interest to Brits, even if that means payments of over £ 80 per month. Either way, this car at these prices is the most important breakthrough moment of all time for UK consumers.

We never had the money or the hunger for the original, dignified but ugly Nissan Leaf, launched at £ 30,000 ten years ago. A few years later, the smaller and prettier VW e-up! at almost £ 24,000 (almost twice as much as the base version) also failed. And while pure-electric mid-size family cars from companies like Hyundai, Kia and Skoda are credible, some of them come with a price tag of £ 50,000. Ouch!

While very different, the imminent arrival of the Stripped Friend in the UK means a long overdue (and then some) change to the accessibility and affordability of pure electric vehicles. Contrary to the tradition that electric vehicles are almost twice as expensive as their ICE counterparts, new Ami technology is about to start a price revolution by becoming THE cheapest new vehicle on the market, period.

Even its old-fashioned sisters, the petrol Citroën C1s and Peugeot 108 (bigger four-seater) will cost more than double the price of the two-bench Ami. Another jaw-dropping fact is that the Smart EQ fortwo is priced three times as much as the Ami, despite both being two-seater EVs of similar size. Hopefully those Smart retail prices will drop and align more closely with those of the less powerful, slower, and cuter Ami. Even the £ 12,000 Renault Twizy plus bike looks horribly expensive next to the Ami, which looks a lot more like a real car, albeit a slow one that is officially a quadricycle.

A few changes I’d like to see before Ami’s sales start are tasteful “28MPH MAX SPEED” stickers to warn motorists behind that even if an Ami driver has the pedal to the metal, they still can’t hit 30. mph. Is it time for Citroën to tweak it to do so by 2022? I hope.

Also, I hope that, further, Citroën will move the steering wheel to the center. This will have advantages in terms of safety, driving pleasure and general balance. In addition, two passengers could then sit on either side, so slightly behind, of the driver. This is something that sister brands Citroen, Peugeot, Fiat, Jeep and Vauxhall, need to think about because they (like Opel) will have access to design, technology, factory, future mods and savings. scale of the Friend.

Unfortunately for the fierce rival companies that are not part of Stellantis, they are not. Besides panicking, what are they going to do now? Citroën tore up the rulebook, changed the game, declared a price war and turned the electric vehicle market upside down like no brand before. I love that.

Click here for our list of the cheapest cars on sale in the UK …

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