Tiny EV for Less Than a Monthly Phone Contract

For city dwellers, or anyone who only needs a car for short journeys, the arrival of the Citroen Ami in Europe is definitely a moment to pull out a bottle of bubbly and celebrate.


Citroen Ami on a London street

Whilst most auto manufacturers have primarily focused on the luxury (and expensive) segment of the electric car market, French car maker Citroen has chosen to create a bijou vehicle that will get you from A to B (assuming it's not more than 46 miles) for a monthly leasing price of just £19.99 ($24). It's not only cheaper than a most bottles of Champagne, it's also less than the price of most mobile phone contracts.


You don't even need a full driving license. Technically it's a quadricycle rather than a car, because of its tiny 6kW motor and maximum speed of 28mph. But how often do you faster than that in a city?


The Ami has been available in France since 2020, where it can be driven without a licence from the age of 14. In the UK, you will need to be 16 and have the equivalent of a moped licence to drive the Ami.


Taking just three hours to fully charge from a regular three-pin socket, the Citroen has a range of 46 miles, plenty for the average three-mile commute at a fraction of the current cost of petrol - or public transport.


Whilst the monthly lease cost is wildly attractive if you don't need to get anywhere fast, new owners will still need to put down an initial deposit of £2,400 ($2,900). Despite this upfront cost, the Ami is still likely to be wildly popular for a great many people.


However, perhaps this little car's greatest role will be in demonstrating to car manufacturers that 'cheap and cheerful' is all that's required for millions of drivers in Europe - and help to accelerate the transition from gas-guzzling cars to cleaner, cheaper electric vehicles.


Wuling Hong Guang Mini

Meanwhile, in China, taking the first prize for popularity is the Wuling Hong Guang Mini. It’s a cute looking small box-shaped hatchback. It took less than a year to design, build and start manufacturing from scratch. And you can tell. However, it costs only a mere $4,200 (about £3,000) - vastly below the price of any other 'proper' electric car on Earth. But it still comes with anti-lock brakes, tire pressure monitoring, rear parking sensors, air conditioning, power windows and a great audio system.


No wonder it's selling like hot cakes on a cold winter day!