By launching the Friend, Citroën is offering a small electric vehicle that takes just what is needed for everyday life in the city and which rhymes with simplicity, right down to its charging socket. But does not exacerbated simplicity give rise to complexity?
To provide access to the electric car to as many people as possible, the Double Chevron brand has unveiled the Friend. An electric city chip almost as wide as it is long, which carries just what is needed to evolve daily. The culture of the minimum is also pushed to the technical chapter, with a small engine of 8 hp (6 kW) and a battery of 5.5 kWh capacity. This announces a range of 70 km on a WLTP cycle and is recharged thanks to its on-board household socket and its charger with a maximum power of 1.8 kW.
At home, like any device in everyday life
This is one of the simplest forms of charging available on the market today. Thus, the Citroën Ami only has in its right rear wing a simple three-meter cable (which sometimes pulls short and without a reel!) Connected to a Type E / F male plug. This same sheet that is part of our daily life and that is found on most household appliances.
Charging the car without a license is therefore as easy as plugging in one at home. The Citroën Ami does not complicate electric mobility with different types of cables and does not require the installation of a wall terminal at home (with all the network and subscription questions that this implies): after having unraveled the cable, all you have to do is plug the plug into a Type E female socket (the most common with the earth pin protruding from the base) or onto a Type F. Then follows a recharging exercise announced in three hours, or can be a plus in reality as observed during our test until the failure.
On the vast majority of public terminals with a domestic socket
Like all electric cars, recharging the Citroën Ami is particularly easy when you live in individual accommodation with a garage or own parking space equipped with a plug. On the other hand, things can take on a much more complicated dimension when you live in an apartment with or without parking, which is more in the centers of the largest cities in France: because if conventional sockets proliferate in housing or in individual garages, they are rarer outside.
Most charging stations, however, offer a domestic outlet that fits the Citroën Ami. Even if this is not the case for all installations, especially designed for the mass with Type 2 sockets only, we can bet that these cases are still rare and that there will always be a solution to recharge the cart on public terminals. Even when it is necessary to find a fallback solution after having encountered a defective terminal, occupied by a thermal car or by an electric “suction cup”. The operation should therefore be just as simple as plugging in your hair dryer in the street.
A really useful Type 2 adapter?
For those who are most worried, Citroën does, however, offer in its accessories catalog a Type E / F (domestic socket) to Type 2 adapter, which somewhat betrays the internal reflections around the charging section of the Citroën Ami. What if this operation is not as easy as expected? Even imagining the most marginal of situations, charging the unlicensed car shouldn’t be any more tedious than with any other electric car. Only those who live in a building with an underground car park without a wall outlet can be affected: in this case, installing a wallbox with a specific meter would undoubtedly be easier than installing a basic household outlet. But also more expensive.
Citroën AMI recharging: the complete guide
This solution would not correspond to the image sought by the Citroën Ami: beyond the cost of installing a wallbox, the Citroën adapter (manufactured by Metron) is billed at € 299.90. This represents 5% of the base price of the Citroën Ami (or one year and three months of rent). This is the same share as the more expensive options, like the carbon bodies of the Pagani Huayra or Bugatti Divo! A true luxury product with ultimately relative utility, only making everyday life easier for the few drivers who have easier access to a wallbox than to a wall outlet. And even…