This is the Citroen Ami One Concept that will be displayed at the upcoming 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Don’t call it a car – Citroen describes Ami One as a disruptive all-electric “object” that places digital technology at the heart of a new urban mobility experience, offering more freedom and peace of mind.

Said to be a response to new customer behaviours and the challenges of energy transition in the city, the Ami One is being visioned as the Citroen 2CV of the future, providing freedom of movement to the masses like the iconic old-timer did in its time.

Citroen designed Ami One Concept as an alternative to public transport and other modes of transport such as bikes and electric scooters. At just 2.5m long and 1.5m wide, the tiny 425 kg two-seater aims to provide good agility in the urban environment, while conveying robustness through its body styling. The enclosed cabin protects occupants from bad weather. The dream is that it will be accessible to all from the age of 16, with or without a driving licence.

This city hopper is of course a zero-emissions full electric vehicle, and therefore can enter any zone in any city without charges. It has a range of 100 km and a top speed of 45 km/h. The lithium-ion battery is stored flat under the floor and can be fully charged in two hours. The Ami One can also be plugged into a standard socket at home using an extension cable.

Silent EVs can be dangerous in packed city streets, but the Ami One is equipped with its own sound signature, developed by the Start-Rec agency with designers from Citroen. It features an original soundtrack mixing male and female voices, and does not sound like a digital robot. This complies with European regulations introduced this year, where all EVs must be equipped with an artificial sound at low speeds to warn pedestrians of their approach.

The French carmaker says that the Ami One is easy and ethical to produce, and that it has everything it takes to become popular in the city. The design incorporates symmetrical parts, including identical doors on the left and right, opening in different directions. The drive’s side door is rear-hinged for better access. Also identical are the front/rear bumpers (partly concealed in front, open on the rear for the number plate), front/rear wings and side panels, reversible DRLs and L/R rear lights. Citroen’s Airbump panels are also present.

The Amo One has an open-top with a canvas roof. Sliding and folding with a single movement, the hood is closed using a blue strap and a push button. Speaking of straps, the exterior door handles also use rubber straps, topped by a scanner for opening/closing with a smartphone.

While the exterior is largely symmetrical, Ami’s cabin is has an asymmetrical layout for the driver’s seat (on rails) and the passenger seat (fixed). This set-up creates extra shoulder room and ease of movement for both occupants, Citroen says. There’s maximum use of each nook and cranny for storage. Next to the ‘Drive-Pod’ is a storage space for a cabin bag and a handbag.

At the rear, a platform accessed via the folding driver’s seat can be used for occasional luggage and is equipped with breakdown safety gear. Matching exclusive luggage developed in partnership with Damien Béal include a backpack designed to fit in the front storage space, a specially designed shopping basket and a cylinder-shaped travel bag.

We come to tech. Of course, the smartphone is central to the man-machine interface of this connected object. The doors lock/unlock via a QR code on the aluminium base of the door handles. Once inside, the driver places his phone in a wireless induction charging space, and the interaction begins.

Depending on the app used, the screen display is projected onto a reflective panel in the driver’s field of vision – similar to a head-up display. The man-machine interface has been designed as a personal assistant for enhanced communication with the driver. The interface is controlled using two steering wheel buttons: voice command for the assistant and a drop-down menu for browsing apps.

The instrument cluster is a five-inch screen with stylised ‘eyes’, with the aim of evoking emotion and establishing a special dialogue with the user (warning, questioning etc).

Car ownership is increasingly not seen as a must by youths of today, and this trend is expected to continue. The Ami One is a device that one can use without buying it outright – car-sharing and rental is also possible, from a five minute last mile journey to a five year lease. Citroen says that the aim is to fulfil the customer’s travel needs by addressing all the ways in which they use mobility services: occasionally or regularly, with family or friends, individually or shared.

To support this, Ami One Counters are spaces that act as distributors in city centres. Customers can access info on the vehicle, the possible access options (five minutes to five years), and book a test drive. The counters can also be rolled out in places such as shopping malls.

Once the object is with you, a voice controlled mobile app provides information remotely (electricity consumption, battery charge etc) as well as a range of services via Free2Move that make city use easier (parking space search, geolocation, e-payment etc).

A Charging Pass enables drivers to locate and access charging stations, while the Trip Planner suggests the best route, taking into account remaining range, vehicle usage and the location of charging stations along the way. The system can therefore estimate total travel time, including charging time.

The Ami One Concept is a message on wheels to the anti-car folks in the West. Essentially, the message reads: The car is not your enemy, the car is city-friendly, the car is here to stay. If you think “car” is a bad word, we’ll call it an object. A Modern 2CV for a modern lifestyle, all controlled by computers – what do you think?