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Advertorial from Citroën

Citroën Ami: the tiny electric vehicle driving change with The Big Issue

The Citroën Ami and The Big Issue have teamed up in London for an electrifying collaboration. Discover how this compact electric vehicle is making a big splash in sustainable urban mobility and social change.

Citroën’s electric whizz-kid the Ami hits the road in London with The Big Issue Picture: Fight Gravity Films

Advertorial from Citroën

The Citroën AMI really is tiny. We knew it would be, but none of us are quite ready for how small it really is. When we arrive at the Big Issue offices to begin our day’s shooting, no one can quite believe that this is what we will be buzzing around London in, dropping off magazines. At one point we even lose track of the AMI because, genuinely, someone has parked a vintage Mini in front of it. And yet when Chris, our notably tall frontline director, gets behind the wheel, he’s surprised at how roomy it is and how much genuine fun he has driving it (“it’s unbelievably cute” he’ll say later).

We’re here on a sunny May morning to make the latest film in our collaboration with Citroën, which has been supplying Big Issue Group with new vehicles, including all-electric ë-Berlingo and ë-Dispatch vans, to deliver the magazine and more easily and efficiently reach our vendors across the country for day-to-day support and outreach.

It’s part of our joint Driving Change for Good initiative, embracing green energy and sustainability and working more effectively with our vendors. Today’s film is a little different to those we’ve made previously, however. The AMI will not be part of our regular delivery fleet (at least not yet…). This is an experiment. Can an all-electric runabout, so small that two can fit into a standard parking space, beat the London traffic and deliver magazines to vendors across London city?

A film crew is on hand to document the challenge – helmed by acclaimed director Helen Aschauer. They’re here to capture this curious journey, complete with a forest of high-tech lenses and stands and satisfyingly lo-tech gaffa tape and fishing wire. The aim is to show how Citroën can help underscore Big Issue’s mission: promoting positive change through social enterprise.

The AMI – wrapped in our distinctive Big Issue x Citroën Driving Change for Good livery – makes an immediate splash, as much a tiny, mobile art installation as an electric vehicle. Everywhere we go in bustling London, people stop to look, smiling as Chris buzzes smoothly past, weaving in and out of traffic. Lots of people ask for selfies (and some don’t bother to ask) and are keen to chat to us, not only about our adorable little steed but about The Big Issue in general.

The Citroën AMI is more than a quirky run-around and talking point, however. Debuting in 2020, this compact, zero-emissions vehicle with its swift-charging 5.5kWh battery and 46-mile range is a genuinely practical solution to electric mobility, fitting within Citroën’s commitment to affordable, environmentally friendly transport options.

The association between Big Issue and Citroën is fitting, with both striving to decrease CO2 emissions and pioneer greener operational practices. Though the AMI may not be an everyday fixture for our frontline, its role today symbolises the organisations’ shared goals: Both are trying to challenge societal norms, stimulate thought, and encourage change.

It’s a long day, but it’s a fun one. In Covent Garden, where we stop to pick up more magazines, Daniel, one of our vendors, shares stories of his time selling The Big Issue off and on since the mid-90s. He recalls the time he got £20 from Prince Harry, the night he sold 300 copies at the turn of the Millennium.

He’s just come back to the magazine after some time away – it’s always an option he can rely on. Around the corner, at the Royal Opera House, we join another vendor, Kelvin, a passionate advocate for the work we do, who regularly gives talks on his experiences selling in London over the years.

We rope Kelvin into helping out Chris, asking tourists and shoppers how many magazines they think we can fit into the AMI: 960 guesses Kelvin, undershooting. “Ten-thousand!” says one man, just a little optimistically. Across the board, people are surprised and delighted.

Big Issue vendor Daniel gets a delivery courtesy of the Citroën Ami

While the AMI is simple, smooth and easy to drive around, filming is never an easy ride. “It’s challenging,” admits Kelvin. “Take one, take two, good take, bad take. Cute vehicle, though!”

By the end of our whirlwind day, we’re all fans of the AMI. It’s a cute, eye-catching way to nip around the city, absolutely – but there’s something about it that also feels very Big Issue. It shares our purpose and ethos. The Big Issue, with unwavering commitment, empowers individuals, equipping them to rise above poverty through their own efforts in social enterprise. And this is echoed in Citroën’s revolution in urban mobility, all found in the AMI – a tiny, electric titan that takes on city commutes while keeping the environment at heart. This feels like more than a film shoot; it’s become a live demonstration of innovation and resilience, underlining the transformative power of a social enterprise and green power.

With every magazine that changes hands and each rotation of an electric vehicle’s wheel, we inch closer to our goal – improving lives through enterprise. Knowing we’re part of a movement for good, paving the way for a brighter, cleaner tomorrow that’s fairer for all. Not preaching but doing – with a bit of fun thrown in for good measure.

To find out more about the AMI watch our film on Big Issue’s YouTube channel and click citroen.co.uk/ami

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