Citroen’s new Ami One Concept isn’t a car; it’s a mobility object

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
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Citroen’s new Ami One Concept isn’t an electric car concept. It’s a “mobility object” you’ll never own. Rather, you will simply pay to use it—from anywhere from five minutes to five years.

Like so many automakers, Citroen is looking ahead to the future of urban mobility. Accordingly, the French brand created a concept that shines a light on how it envisions its future business.

It’s called Ami One Concept. Intriguingly, Citroen never once refers to it as a car in its press release. Rather, the orange-and-white box on wheels has been dubbed a “mobility object.” This could be chalked up to a weird translation. More likely, the moniker is intended to separate it in customers’ minds from products that they buy, house, fuel, and repair themselves. That’s because Citroen intends for customers to use Ami One, not own it.

Don’t confuse the future of cars with the future of mobility. We will always want cars, but we may decide to use them in different ways.(Citroen)

Customers can get access to the twee electric mobility object anywhere from five minutes up to five years, with a few steps in between, including five hours, five days, and five months. Clearly, Citroen has a thing for increments of five.

To implement such a mobility plan, Citroen has created a slew of new apps and brands. Free2Move brand app allows customers access to an Ami One for short-term use. Longer-term, daylong access is granted through the Rent&Smile app.

If you’re looking for a more personalized touch, pop over to one of the distributors called “Ami One Counters” in your local shopping center for a test drive.

The ultra-compact two-seater EV will be accessible to anyone over the age of 16, whether they have a driving license or not. Citroen doesn’t specify if Ami One is capable of automated driving. Given the fact the customer doesn’t have to have a driver’s license, one can presume it is at least capable of driving itself.

The Ami One’s interior is a visual delight. Will it be an ergonomic delight, they will be determined.(Citroen)

Recharging Ami One on a Level-2 charger takes only two hours. On a full charge, it can go 62 miles. However, users won’t be able to use up all those miles very quickly. That’s because Ami One’s top speed is a paltry 27 miles per hour.

The Ami One and its performance figures might be small. What it represents, though, is quite big. And I am not just referring to the dizzying number of accessibility options and accompanying apps. More than that, Ami One Concept represents a monumental shift in the car business.

Funky French styling aside, there’s virtually nothing appealing about Ami One itself. The appeal is everything else tied to it. Ami One is literally the vehicle of customer mobility. They won’t subscribe to Citroen’s mobility because of Ami One. It just happens to be the orange electric box on wheels that moves them around.

In essence, Ami One is the least important part of Citroen’s mobility business. And if that doesn’t sound revolutionary for a carmaker, I don’t know what is.


About the Author

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
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