The latest green van delivering parcels to Britons up and down the country next year will also be the smallest.
Citroen has today confirmed its electric single-seat Ami ‘Cargo’ commercial vehicle – which is based on the Ami microcar – will be made available in the UK from 2022, with prices expected to start from around £6,000.
It has up to 400 litres of loading capacity – which is marginally bigger than the boot of a Volkswagen Golf – to carry packages for ‘last-mile deliveries in urban areas’, such as within London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, which expanded in size on Monday.
And it will only be suitable for short-journey haulage, with the EV having a range of just 47 miles fully charged.
The SMALLEST van in Britain with a 47-mile range: Citroen’s electric Ami Cargo has been confirmed for sale in the UK next year. The price for the single-seat commercial vehicle hasn’t been confirmed but it will likely cost from around £6,000
One of the two seats has been removed and in its place is a storage pod. The French brand says it and carry goods with a maximum length of 1.2 metres – think smaller items of flat-pack furniture
The Ami Cargo is available to order now with a deposit of just £250 needed to secure an early order of the dinky van, which will have the driver’s seat and steering wheel on the left of the vehicle with Citroen not producing UK-specific models despite offering the van for sale in Britain.
Eurig Druce, managing director of Citroen UK, said: ‘I am incredibly excited to see the Ami Cargo arrive in the UK next year.’
He adds: ‘With more cities across the UK introducing restrictions for conventional vehicles, Ami Cargo Electric will provide businesses and fleet customers with the opportunity to continue their urban and last-mile operations in a practical, sustainable and cost-efficient way.’
Just last month, Citroen confirmed the Ami quadricycle would be sold to UK customers from 2022 having received more than 14,000 UK customer notifications for the passenger version of the diminutive EV.
Citroen says that 1,400 – so just 10 per cent – of them have since placed a £250 refundable deposit to reserve one.
Citroen says the Ami Cargo will be used by ‘last-mile delivery drivers and business operators in urban areas’, such as London’s recently expanded Ultra Low Emission Zone
More white van teenager than white van man: This is Citroen’s answer to an electric van for big cities. The Ami Cargo has a range of just 47 miles and can’t carry too many items
UK prices are yet to be confirmed for the Ami Cargo but, in its home market of France, it is available for €6,490, inclusive of a €900 subsidy from the Government. It’s unlikely to be eligible for the UK Government’s Plug-in Car Grant of £2,500
The French car maker suggests the Ami Cargo could work for businesses such as florists, pharmacies, electronics stores and for those in the construction industry or for energy providers to check metre readings
Citroen said it would evaluate whether there’s a demand from UK buyers for the standard Ami two-seat electric car as well as this commercial vehicle alternative
UK prices are yet to be confirmed for the Ami Cargo but, in its home market of France, it is available for €6,490, inclusive of a €900 subsidy from the government.
Because it is classified as a quadricycle and not a car, it currently doesn’t qualify for the UK Government’s Plug-in Car Grant of £2,500 – which is also the case for the Renault Twizy.
That means UK prices are likely to be in the region of £6,000 when it does hit the market next year.
The new commercial vehicle is exactly the same size as the Ami microcar, measuring in at just 2.4 metres long, 1.5 metres tall and 1.4 metres wide.
One of its standout features is that it can legally be used by a 16-year-old in the UK because it qualifies as a ‘light quadricycle’. In France, teens as young as 14 can legally drive one.
Citroen says there will be plenty of loading space thanks to the removal of the passenger seat and the addition of this cargo pod with a handy slot for a tablet and to place a laptop
The storage pod (which replaces the passenger seat) provides up to 260 litres of space – around the same as the boot of a Toyota Yaris. It carry a payload up to 140kg – so around the same bulk of two washing machines (not that they could fit)
A shelf sits on top of the storage pod to protect items inside but also offers additional loading space. The top has an A4 cut-out so it can also be used by the driver as a desk
In terms of dimensions, the Citroen Ami Cargo measures in at just 2.4 metres long, 1.5 metres tall and 1.4 metres wide. Parked sideways, you could fit four of them in a standard UK parking space
Citroen says it will not be converting it to right-hand-drive for the UK in a bid to keep production costs as low as possible.
However, big changes have been made inside to repurpose the compact vehicle into a van.
Citroen says the redesign makes the My Ami Cargo truly ‘small on the outside and big on the inside’.
One way it has increase loading space is the removal of one of the two seats – meaning no passengers on the rounds for delivery drivers. In its place is a storage pod, which is partitioned from the driver to ensure tumbling boxes don’t land on them when trying to navigate to a destination.
The Ami Cargo is based on this, the conventional Ami electric car. Technically speaking, it actually qualifies as a quadricycle, which means 16-year-old drivers can take the wheel in the UK. It will also be sold in Britain from next year, with 1,400 customers already reserving one with a £250 deposit
The conventional Ami passenger car has two seats and very little in storage space. Removing the weight of the passenger seat in the Cargo commercial vehicle adds around 4 miles of range
Citroen says this has been designed so it doesn’t block the driver’s visibility as a matter of safety.
The compartment can fit up to 260 litres, which is just marginally smaller than the boot of a Toyota Yaris.
Citroen Ami Cargo: Will it fit in my garage?
Price: approx £6,000
On sale: June 2021 in France (unconfirmed for UK)
Length: 2.41 metres
Width: 1.39 metres (excluding mirrors)
Height: 1.52 metres
Power: Electric motor
Top speed: 28mph (45km/h)
Range: Up to 47 miles (76km)
Turning circle: 7.2 metres
CO2 emissions: Zero
Charging time: 3 hours (from standard three-pin domestic socket)
It can be used to carry a payload up to 140kg – so around the same bulk as two washing machines, though not even one would fit in the tiny space available.
There’s also a secondary shelf that sits on top of the storage pod that can hold up to 40kg that doubles up as a work station.
For those looking for a mobile office, designers have even made an A4-size cut-out in the shelf to keep a laptop and your paperwork firmly in place.
The shelf is adjustable and can be moved towards the driver for better access, or tilted towards the passenger door if required. The shelf can also be removed completely, to maximise the storage space available.
Another feature is a two-way adjustable cargo floor, which can be raised and locked vertically to provide an unrestricted loading space or dropped to a horizontal position to match the level of the vehicle floor and carry goods with a maximum length of 1.2 metres.
That means, in theory, a flat-pack chest of drawers from a particularly famous Swedish home store can be collected and transported home – as long as it has an EV charge point or is less than 23.5 miles away, so you can complete the round trip.
Along with all the other storage cubbies and cargo retainers – including lockable storage bin to keep valuables such as phones, house keys, wallets, purses and sunglasses – the full load capacity is 400 litres.
That’s more than the boot in the latest VW Golf Mk8 (381 litres) can hold.
The French car maker suggests it could work for businesses such as florists, pharmacies, electronics stores and for those in the construction industry or for energy providers to check metre readings.
Like the standard Ami, the Cargo uses a 5.5kWh battery pack which can be charged using a conventional household three-pin socket – or at campsites, according to the promotional video – with a full charge taking around three hours.
The battery feeds an 8bhp electric motor that that can propel the Ami Cargo to a – fairly pedestrian – top speed of 28mph
A battery charge takes just three hours in total, providing up to 47 miles of driving range. However, that’s without the van being laden with heavy items, so expect that driving distance to be less if you’re delivering anything near the 140kg payload
Like the standard Ami, the Cargo uses a 5.5kWh battery pack which can be charged using a conventional household three-pin socket
The battery feeds an 8bhp electric motor that that can propel the Ami to a – fairly pedestrian – top speed of 28mph.
Its 47 mile range is around 4 miles more than the conventional Ami, suggesting the loss of a seat has cut the overall weight.
Laden with boxes and other luggage, expect that single-charge driving distance to be quite a lot less.
A teeny footprint and tight turning circle of just 7.2 metres means it should be easy to park and manoeuvre around the most congested cities.
Citroen is marketing it against scooters and motorcycles used for deliveries in urban areas, saying the My Ami Cargo has a steel tubular structure for better crash protection and – obviously – a roof, for improved British weather protection compared to two wheels.
The Citroen Ami Cargo (right) will be added to Citroen’s existing fleet of electric vans, which already includes (from left to right) the e-Relay, e-Dispatch and e-Berlingo models. Here’s a quick overview of the other battery commercial vehicles already in use on Britain’s roads…
Electric vans are already on Britain’s roads – here are just some examples
For eco-conscious businesses looking for an electric commercial vehicle with far more carrying capacity and range than the Ami Cargo offers, there is already a number of plug-in vans on the market.
In terms of medium-size electric vans, Nissan’s eNV200 has been on the market since 2014 and recently been updated to offer 124 miles of range.
Then there’s the Citroen e-Berlingo van and Peugeot Partner Electric, which have ranges just over 100 miles, and the Renault Kangoo ZE with a claimed 120-mile battery range.
Moving up to larger-scale models, Mercedes has an e-Vito and e-Sprinter, Renault sells a 74-mile-range Master ZE, the London Electric Vehicle Company (LEVC) has the London-taxi-based VN5 and Vauxhall has recently introduced the Vivaro-e with a 205-mile driving distance on a full charge.
Citroen also has the e-Dispatch and e-Relay vans.
Ford will also be entering the electric commercial vehicle market with the launch of its all-electric E-Transit next year with a 217-mile range and price tag of around £36,000.
Vauxhall’s Luton-built Vivaro-e is one of the better electric vans business owners can buy. It starts from just over £27,000 and has a respectable range of 205 miles on a full charge
The E-Transit has a quoted 217-mile range, calculated using the latest WLTP test cycle. This usually over-estimates the real life driving distance on a single charge and also doesn’t take into account different bulks being carried in the back
Using an 115kW DC fast charger, the E-Transit’s battery can be replenished from 15% to 80% capacity in a – very specific – 34 minutes. A full charge will take an estimated eight hours, the manufacturer claims
The My Ami Cargo’s most direct rivals, though, both come from its home-nation rival, Renault.
It sells the Renault Zoe Van, which deletes the rear bench from the popular electric supermini and has a massive 245-mile range – that’s more than five times what the Citroen can do. It does, however, cost almost £29,000.
The most like-for-like comparison has to be the Twizy Cargo. Priced from £6,241.67 in the UK when launched in 2013, Renault took the rear seat (the Twizy has a fighter-jet seating layout with a passenger seat behind the driver’s) out to provide storage space.
At 2.3-metres long, it is a fraction shorter than the Citroen and is pencil thin at just over 1.2 metres. However, it’s no longer on sale in the UK.
It’s no match for the Ami’s loading capacity, with just 180-litres of space and carrying up to 75kg. But it does have a claimed 50-mile ‘real-world’ range, according to the French manufacturer.
The Zoe Van is the same as Renault’s Zoe passenger car but with the rear seats removed to provide a large loading back. Prices are high but the range is impressively long for a small electric commercial vehicle
The Citroen My Ami’s most obvious rival is this, the Renault Twizy Cargo. Like the Zoe, the rear seat (it has just one) has been deleted to provide a very small boot
The Twizy Cargo is no match for the My Ami Cargo’s loading capacity, with just 180-litres of space and carrying up to just 75kg. The Twizy does has a marginally longer range, claimed to be 50-miles in the ‘real-world’, according to the French manufacturer
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