Citroen turns its tiny electric Ami into a delivery workhorse

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Words: Matthew Hansen
10 May 2021

The conundrum when talking about delivery vehicles in high-density urban areas is that businesses want smaller vehicles that can traverse tight cities with ease, while also wanting big vehicles that can hold more stuff. The rush to electrification only complicates this further.

Citroen seems to think that it’s diminutive little Ami, a fresh EV that’s gone on sale in Europe and is about to hit America, could be an answer to the nuanced call.

The French firm has released a new Ami trim level in its home market. The model is designed for carrying mail and parcels in its front passenger compartment — the passenger seat having been removed entirely. Known as the My Ami Cargo, it can carry around 400 litres where said seat once was.

This may sound a little like a hack-and-slash job designed to milk the model, but it isn’t just a case of ripping out a few seats and being done with it. Citroen has also put in a partition between the driver’s seat and the storage area, while also adding a modular shelf on top that the driver can use as a desk.

The likes of the Ford Transit and Toyota Hiace are unlikely to lose any sleep over the Ami, but that’s not necessarily the point of the model. Despite its small footprint, its changes mean it can hold more than a lot of subcompact vehicles.

The Toyota Yaris and Volkswagen Polo can only hold 286 litres and 280 litres in their boots, respectively. The new Honda Jazz, meanwhile, holds 304 litres.

Admittedly, none of these figures take into account how much space you have for storage on top of your back seats and in your passenger seat in these cars. And, once you fold the back seats flat the capacities grow exponentially.

Still, none has the tiny footprint of the Ami or the fully electric powertrain. And, none are nearly as cheap as the Ami. The new model is priced from around $15,000 in overseas markets.

Citroen says that, on top of being a potential urban delivery vehicle, the Ami Cargo can also be used as a work vehicle for tradies hopping from place to place. An odd concept to most Kiwi tradies I’m sure, but potentially ideal for people directing construction staff across multiple jobs in a busy city.

The little Ami packs a 6kWh battery pack capable of 74km of travel per charge. It also has the unique characteristic of being classified as a ‘quadricycle’ instead of as a car. This is a double-edged sword that sees the Ami get hit with less tax than a standard car, but on the flipside means that it doesn’t need to pass any crash-test legislation.

Still, it’s safer than a push bike I suppose.

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