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Citroën’s Ami One 2-seat EV concept is an offbeat urban concept solution; door handles are straps. (Citroën) 

Citroën wants its EV urban concept to be everybody’s Ami

The Geneva Motor Show is an event for airing concept vehicles spanning the spectrum from “actual” (close to production) to the zany (will never see the light of media camera flashes again). This year, Citroën’s concept vehicle fits somewhere in the middle: it is the battery-electric Ami One, a “vision of urban mobility accessible to everyone,” said the company, but the design is supported by practical lateral thinking via on-demand usage.

That is not an autonomous response, but customers can access a city center location and use an Ami One (French for “friend”) for “five minutes to five years” depending on task requirements, so it could be short-term rented or shared using an online reservation service. Or Ami One could be purchased.

Only 2.5 m (8.2 ft.) long, 1.5 m (4.9 ft.) high with two asymmetrically-positioned seats and a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph) and range of 100 km (62 miles), the Ami One’s recharge time using a public station is about two hours. Its lithium-ion battery pack is positioned under the vehicle’s floor; Citroen said further details of drivetrain will come. Ami’s quirkiest feature probably is the identical doors that open right and left in opposite directions.

Other components such as front and rear fenders are also identical to save manufacturing costs. In France, a production Ami One would be graded a light quadricycle, which would not require a user – from age 16 – to have a driving license. Citroën refers to the Ami as an intuitive and connected alternative to the use of a bus or pedal cycle. 

Apps and smartphones figure in Ami’s use and operation. To meet newly-adopted European legislation, it would warn pedestrians of its approach by “mixing male and female voices.” High-tech it may be, but the Ami concept has one sunny link to Citroën’s classic 2CV: both have opening canvas roofs.  

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