The French Electric Friend looks like a toaster and is sold as such too
Gersende Gloanec, 15, drives to school in the neighboring town of Fouesnant every day with his little sister.
What emerges from the garage is a small gray two-seater stain that automaker Citroën does not even call a car but an “object of mobility”. With a top speed of 28 mph, the Friend or “friend” is actually classified as a quadricycle. Think of the four-wheel moped. No driver’s license required.
“I’m too young to have a driver’s license, but you can drive a Friend from the age of 14,” she said.
“At first it was strange to be on roads like this because I had only cycled before but it gives me more independence,” said Gloanec.
As Friend’s ad says, “Yes, it looks like a toaster. That is why you can buy it at the appliance store. Citroën does not sell it at all in the usual dealerships, in fact, only in appliance stores and online.
The cost: just over $ 8,000 minus a thousand dollar government eco-bonus – cheaper than a normal car.
European car manufacturers have had some success in recent years making new versions of small cars that were big in the 1960s: the Mini, the Fiat 500, the Volkswagen Beetle. Now the French have released a modern redesign of its iconic economy car, the 2CV. It is an electric vehicle.
The French have a tradition of building low-end cars, like the Citroën 2CV that it made from 1948 to 1990. This is the inspiration for the new Ami.
Amateur mechanic Christophe Dupuis, who lives in Hermeray in the Paris region, rebuilds 2CVs in his spare time. He has a 1961 Ami (two in fact), because Citroën has already used this name for a version of the 2CV.
“It was really a car for people who weren’t very well off,” he said. “The Friend of Today is designed to give people access to electric cars. “
Citroën is launching the Ami in Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium this summer with the United States to follow – perhaps – later.