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UK News White van teen: Citroen's electric My Ami Cargo could become the dinkiest van on Britain's roads - with just a 47-mile range and it can be driven by a 16-year-old

15:10  07 may  2021
15:10  07 may  2021 Source:   thisismoney.co.uk

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Citroen has revealed a new van that could soon be used for deliveries on Britain's roads. But it won't be able to carry many Amazon parcels.

The new commercial vehicle, called the My Ami Cargo, is based on the French firm's diminutive Ami electric car, which measures in at just 2.4 metres long, 1.5 metres tall and 1.4 metres wide - and has a range of 47 miles on a full charge.

Citroen says it will be used by 'last-mile delivery drivers and business operators in urban areas', such as London's Ultra Low Emission Zone, and it can legally be used by a 16-year-old in the UK because it qualifies as a 'light quadricycle'.

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Potentially an option for those with paper rounds in 2021, it's definitely more white van teenager than white van man.

a small bus driving down a street: ( © Provided by This Is Money (

The My Cargo Ami will be on sale in France next month, with prices starting from €6,490, inclusive of a €900 green-vehicle subsidy from the French government.

That works out at around £5,600 for the UK - and that could be a reality in the not too distant future.

Citroen says it is still evaluating whether there’s a demand from UK buyers for the standard Ami two-seat electric car. It has even launched a ‘Register Your Interest’ form to gauge the level of public appetite before deciding if it is to sell it in Britain.

If the passenger version does makes it over the Channel (and manages to avoid the duelling fishing trawlers and circling gunboats), there’s a chance the Cargo van will be in tow - though both will likely only be sold in left-hand drive layout in order to keep production costs low.

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Like the Ami car, the van qualifies as a 'light quadricycle', so drivers as young as 16 in the UK can get behind the wheel. In France, teens as young as 14 can legally drive one.

On the face of things - bar the obvious business branding on the doors - the My Cargo Ami looks almost identical to the compact passenger model.

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. Citroen says this has been designed so it doesn't block the driver's visibility as a matter of safety.

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The compartment can fit up to 260 litres of items and 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 the top 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.

Citroen My Ami Cargo: Will it fit in my garage?

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Price: approx £5,600

On sale: June 2021 in France (unconfirmed for UK)

Seats: 1

Length: 2.41 metres

Width: 1.39 metres (excluding mirrors)

Height: 1.52 metres

Wheels: 14-inch

Power: Electric motor

Battery: 5.5kW

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)

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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 a 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.

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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 will be best placed in the city rather than the countryside where you'll find most camping sites.

Citroen are 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.

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For eco-conscious businesses looking for an electric commercial vehicle with far more carrying capacity and range, 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 Berlingo Electric 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.

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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.

a car driving on a city street: 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 © Provided by This Is Money 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 a person standing in front of a car: Using a 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 © Provided by This Is Money Using a 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 from £28,740.

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.

Read our full review of the Twizy, with the help of the late Sir Stirling Moss.

Yuri Suzuki composes soundscape for electric cars that adapts to the driver .
Pentagram partner Yuri Suzuki has developed a new family of sounds for electric vehicles that hope to replace the "monotonous and annoying" noises made by conventional cars. Proposed as part of a research project, the soundscape includes two new artificial engine hums that change in pitch depending on the speed of the car, as well as The post Yuri Suzuki composes soundscape for electric cars that adapts to the driver appeared first on Dezeen.Proposed as part of a research project, the soundscape includes two new artificial engine hums that change in pitch depending on the speed of the car, as well as a range of in-car sounds for everything from indicating to starting the ignition.

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