By Briac Trebert
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It came into being in June 2020. Since then, you have inevitably come across the Citroën Ami, a (very small) extraordinary electric vehicle that can be driven from the age of … 14, with a single road safety patent, BSR. It has made a name for itself in the market and already has more than 20,000 sales.
The unlicensed mini city has a range of 75 kilometers, its speed is limited to 45 km/h and it is regularly parked in front of high schools and colleges (chic). Because it is a hit with young people.
asked by Actu.fr, the garage of the chevron brand in La Baule (Loire-Atlantique) explains that it sells “one every two weeks”. And you have to be patient because “there is currently a delay of six to eight months”.
But Vennen has (also) freed itself from the brand’s usual distribution rules, because in addition to the classic dealer circuit, the manufacturer has entered into a collaboration with the Fnac-Darty duo, where you can also find it. It is also available with few clicks on the internet.
A small cube of 2.41 meters in length
Count around 7,000 euros and especially take advantage of the 1,000 euros in “ecological bonus” from the government to promote the acquisition of clean vehicles. It is also possible to rent it “for around 30 euros per month, after a starting rent of around 3,500 euros”, says a dealer. An often preferred option.
This microcar with a very special appearance is a kind of small cube measuring 2.41 meters in length (about twenty centimeters less than a Smart), 1.39 meters wide and 1.52 meters high. And it plugs into any socket: no need for a special charging installation. In total, it takes three hours for a full charge.
What is the road safety certificate (BSR)?
The traffic safety certificate (BSR) allows you to drive a 50 cm scooter from the age of 143 or a carriage. To pass the BSR (AM category) from the age of 14, you must obtain the first or second level road safety certificate (ASSR) or the road safety certificate (ASR). And go to an approved company, driving school or association driving school.
Upon registration, you will receive a training booklet. It contains a questionnaire that you must complete before starting the practical training. The price for training is generally between 150 and 400 euros in a driving school. The practical training lasts a minimum of eight hours. It takes place over two days (maximum four hours per day).
“I take my car when I want to go where I want with friends”
In Deauville and Trouville-sur-Mer (Calvados) Vennen has found his (young) audience. We can see dozens of them parked near high schools, says Pays d’Auge.
“In terms of the number of inhabitants, it is the city with the most in France”, suggested a few months ago Victor Mary, marketing director of the car distribution group Mary.
When the parents have the means, “it’s super practical”, sums up a schoolgirl from Deauville: “I take my car when I want to go where I want with friends”. When the choice between the scooter and a car without a license presented itself to Zoé’s parents, they didn’t hesitate long: “My mother was more into a car for safety reasons. A scooter is more dangerous,” sums up the teenager.
The ransom of success
In Côtes-d’Armor, by the sea, still in Pléneuf-Val-André, Valentine, 14, in third grade, gives the same speech wrapped in Le Penthièvre. “I use my car to go shopping. And to take my dogs to the vet, Coton, Nuage and Neige, the family’s beloved bichons. »
Two places. No trunk. No car radio, but still a USB port to connect the phone. A car for small towns. Not for long weight losses.
And a real trend. There was already the Renault Twizy, but other players are entering this market. Mobilize, a subsidiary of the Renault group, has unveiled the Duo, an electric quadricycle available from 14 years (also). The Swiss manufacturer Micro Mobility Systems, which originally specialized in electric scooters, comes back with an egg-shaped mini city car inspired by the 1950s Isetta and called the Microlino.
Meanwhile, for the Vennen, it is the price of success, especially on Facebook, where several groups have been created to condemn “delivery times not respected” and technical problems, especially door locks that are blocked or even doors that open while driving.. .And the problem, in case of a breakdown, is that although dealers can borrow a service vehicle for free, they don’t always have a car without a license!
This, not to mention the indignant comments on the social networks of motorists who are worried to see teenagers driving “without knowing the highway law”…
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