🟢 Is Citroën's AMI leapfrogging Tesla's master plan?

On the surface, the success of the Citroën AMI as a light electric car is endearing. But despite its promises it might be a cautionary tale for the rest of us in the industry.

🟢 Is Citroën's AMI leapfrogging Tesla's master plan?
Photo by Denys Nevozhai / Unsplash

You know that the automotive market is on the top of my list among the many markets I have my eyes on. As with the game market, it's one of the best Venn diagrams of current consumer trends, industrial constraints, and innovation opportunities.

Like many others, the launch last year of the Citroën (ex-PSA, now Stellantis) AMI light electric car caught my eye – and please have a look at my friend Stéphane's amazing newsletter on this if you haven't already (in French).

So what's the fuss all about?

The core idea for Citroën was to design a cheap, light electric vehicle that you could drive without a driver's license. Reaching out to the bottom of the individual mobility market with a low-cost yet sexy electric vehicle makes tons of sense. With Tesla controlling, for now, the top of the market, why not try to maneuver quickly to another segment as far as you can be from Musk's reach? This is, in essence, trying to pull a reverse-Tesla. In my book? Very smart.

In practice? A resounding success, but with quite a few caveats.

Let me explain...