With the fuel delivery crisis still rumbling on and petrol prices expected to rise by around 5p-a-litre in the coming days, more drivers are reportedly considering buying an electric vehicle.
The latest EV due to hit the market next year is Citroen’s diminutive Ami, which is as long as a standard UK parking space is wide and has a range of just 46 miles.
The French maker, having confirmed that it will sell the tiny battery model in Britain from 2022 just a fortnight ago, says it has already taken over 1,000 reservations online.
A total of 1,130 pre-orders have been placed on the car company’s UK website, which requires a £250 deposit that is refunded if the driver changes their mind.
These reservations were on top of the 14,000 individuals who have registered their interest in the Ami for when it arrives in the UK next spring.
Citroen has referred to it as ‘a daring response to the challenges faced in today’s cities and urban environments’, though it could also be seen as an appealing prospect for anyone who drives daily short distances as forecourts continue to experience shortages of fuel.
The Ami uses a 5.5kWh battery that recharges in three hours from a conventional domestic socket.
This provides a top speed of just 28mph and a claimed range of 46 miles.
At only 2.4 metres long and 1.4 metres wide, it could – in theory – be parked sideways in a UK bay (2.4 metres wide by 4.8 metres long), though the tiny dimensions means there only enough room for driver, passenger and a small item of luggage.
Ami’s zero-emissions also means it is Congestion and Ultra-low Emissions Zone charge exempt, with the latter due to extend across London in a matter of weeks.
While UK pricing has yet to be confirmed, it is expected to be priced from around £6,000.
In France, the basic Ami costs €6,990 (£5,945) rising to €8,350 (£7,119) for a range-topping model.
Car share and rental options are also being explored, as is already the Ami’s main use in Paris, where it can be hired in the city in a range of flamboyant colours.
In France it is bought entirely online and can either can be delivered to your home or collected from a pick-up point, with the mantra: ‘Ordered from your sofa, delivered to your home.’
That is also likely to be the case for UK customers.
All customers are reminded that Ami will be adapted for the UK market, but will remain left-hand drive.
‘One significant benefit of AMIs left-hand drive configuration when being driven in the UK, is that it will allow for a kerbside exit from the vehicle for the driver when parking at the roadside in a city centre,’ says Citroen.
Motorists have for over a week faced struggles to fill their cars with petrol and diesel as panic buying across the country has sparked fuel shortages at filling stations.
Online motor retailers say that for some the fuel crisis could be the ‘tipping point’ to ditch their internal-combustion-engine cars and get behind the wheel of EVs.
Online searches for electric vehicles exploded by an incredible 1,500 per cent last week.
The nation’s biggest used car retailer, Auto Trader, reported a ‘huge spike’ in demand for electric cars said it had seen a 61 per cent rise in electric vehicle searches in the first weekend of the crisis and also saw a huge uplift in the number of people sending enquiries to retailers, with one sent every two minutes,.
Ian Plummer, Auto Trader’s commercial director, said this suggested that ‘people aren’t simply flirting with the idea of electric but have been encouraged to actively pursue a purchase.’
Motor sales platform carwow also claims to have experienced an ‘unprecedented boom’ in people looking to switch to electric vehicles.
Sepi Arani, carwow’s director of trade, said: ‘The fuel supply crisis and the scenes of panic at the pumps could prove to be the most influential switching event ever, with more people than ever considering switching to electric.’
He added: ‘What’s more, with second-hand car prices rocketing, there’s really never been a better time to sell your car and make the switch to electric – you’ll get a great price for your current vehicle, you’ll be more than ready for the NetZero changes that are inevitably coming, and you’ll never have to worry about a fuel shortage again.
News Source: Thisismoney