The 8-HP Citroën Ami Electric Vehicle Joins the French Army

Truth is, for people who do what we do, the Ami is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s comedy gold: silly-looking, ridiculously underpowered, and French. And now it seems it’s the Armée de Terre (ground forces) latest recruit. The French military has added four Citroën Amis to the motor fleet at its base in Istres in the south of France, which means perfect sense. How can any self-respecting republic protect the homeland without a micro-car that looks the same coming as it does going?

Turns out that, much to our chagrin, the French army will not be marching into battle at the wheel of these voiturettes. Actually, the truth is both a bit boring and disappointingly sensible: The Amis will be used to shuttle people and lightweight cargo around the Istres-Orange-Salon de Province airbase, duties that are completely compatible with the Ami’s 28-mph top speed, 45-mile range, and three-hour charge time.

Even the French army acknowledges the Ami is effectively a weatherproof scooter that’s harder to tip over. Still, it makes a lot more sense than using a two-and-a-half-ton Infantry Squad Vehicle to bring your sergeant a baguette and a pack of Gauloises. Despite the fact a tiny, slow, electric, mono-wiper French car should go against everything we stand for, the truth is our jealousy has once again been stoked, because the Ami looks rather fetching in its mil-spec flat-blue paint and unadorned steel wheels.

If the experiment works out, France will employ more Ami’s at other bases. And if things don’t work out? Well, at 28 mph, these little Citroën EVs will be great for target practice.

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