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Citroën Ami One preview: ‘It could be driven without a licence’ | Martin Love

A tiny electric vehicle at this year’s Geneva motor show made a big impression

Citroën Ami One preview: ‘It could be driven without a licence’ | Martin Love
Fully charged: the Citroën Ami One prototype flashes forward to what we might be driving in the future Photograph: Maison Vignaux

Citroën Ami One
Engine electric
Top speed 28mph
Weight 450kg
Seats 2

Last week, as it has done for most of the past century, Geneva played host to its annual motor show. From Abarth to Volkswagen, by way of Ferrari and Lamborghini, more than 100 sparkling new models that we can expect to see rolling on to our streets in the next 12 months were unveiled. However, it’s the peculiar prototypes and crazy concepts that provide the added glamour, glitz and kookiness that make the show so interesting. These are the cars, like the Giugiaro Kangaroo superfast electric SUV and the bizarre Rinspeed microSNAP modular minibus, that probably won’t make it into mass production, but which give a fascinating insight into the futuristic world of tomorrow’s transporters.

One of the strangest – and cutest – is a tiny, tough, low-cost, low-tech, two seater from Citroën. It’s an electric vehicle that’s been designed specifically for sharing as opposed to private ownership. It’s 1.5m wide, has a top speed of 28mph and weighs 450kg. This means it is a quadricycle rather than a car and as a result, in some countries, could be driven without a driving licence. ‘The young are connected to use, not ownership,’ said one of Citroën’s vice-presidents, before adding gnomically that, ‘Ami One is not a car. There are people today for whom mobility is not an object.’ Erm… of course.

Email Martin at martin.love@observer.co.uk or follow him on Twitter@MartinLove166

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