Citroen have created a new version of the electric Ami designed specifically for drivers who have lost the use of one or both of their lower limbs. The 'Ami for All', which has been developed in collaboration with vehicle conversion specialist PIMAS, offers enhanced accessibility for drivers with a disability thanks to its modified interior features, adapted driving controls and clever wheelchair storage options.
The concept takes Citroen’s battery-powered Ami and gives it a larger door opening angle as well as the equipment necessary to help disabled drivers get out of a wheelchair and into the car’s seats. The quadricycle has also been fitted with mechanical and manual controls for accelerating and braking, and a knob on the steering wheel that the brand says will make driving easier.
The smart design means that the wheelchair can be stored either in the passenger compartment when disassembled or, if the driver has a passenger, the wheelchair can instead be folded down and attached to a rack at the back of the vehicle, freeing up room inside.
The electric powertrain of the adapted Ami is unchanged, utilising a 8 hp (6 kW / 8 PS) electric motor powered by a 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery. The vehicle achieves an estimated driving range of around 43 miles and, because the Ami complies with heavy quadricycle regulations, there are some countries in Europe where you can drive one at just 14 years of age without a licence. It's currently 16 years old in the UK, but you will need a special licence to drive one (you can't drive one on a provisional licence).
With the 'Ami for All' Citroen hopes to give back independence to those who have lost it, with an affordable electric mobility solution that many people with a disability can use on their own without having to depend on a friend, family member or a carer to accompany them when out and about. For many people it could also be a great alternative to public transport, with its unpredictable timetables and accessibility issues.
According to Citroen, individuals with disabilities who have lost the use of their legs and need a wheelchair to get around account for around 1% of the world’s population. Many of these people currently rely on a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) to meet their transportation needs.
Citroen CEO Thierry Koskas said: “Ami for All is perfectly in line with the Ami philosophy: to offer a practical response to access to mobility for all. Ami has reintroduced ease of movement to micro-journeys and given more independence to teenagers, the elderly and those without a driving licence. We are delighted to present this technical solution to support the mobility of disabled people and we are working to make this project achievable in the short term.”
The concept is being showcased at the Autonomic trade fair in Paris, which runs from 6th to 8th June 2023.