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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - JANUARY 22: The Citroen corporate logo is seen at the International Car Show (salon des voitures) at Heysel, on January 22, 2008 in Brussels, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Renders/Getty Images)

A French automaker has introduced an electric car that gets great mileage and costs just a fraction of what other new cars cost. The only downside, according to critics: It looks a lot like a washing machine.

The Citroën Ami, which sells for $6,600, features two seats, a “minimalist” dashboard cluster and a tiny, eight horsepower engine that runs for 43 hours on a single three-hour charge. Because of its small engine, the vehicle’s top speed is only 43 miles per hour, making it appropriate only for city driving. In fact, in its description of the vehicle, Citroën doesn’t even describe it as a “car” — it’s called a “non-conformist mobility object.”

The Ami is so small that France allows people as young as 14 to drive it without a license. And despite the vehicle’s appearance, a lot of young teens may very well be tooling around in Amis soon; the company is renting them for just $22 a month. There’s no word when — or if — they’ll be coming to the U.S.


This tiny electric car looks like a washing machine and costs just $6,600

French automaker Citroën has unveiled the Ami, a tiny electric car that's designed from the outset to be as cheap as possible. The car isn't very fast and it looks a bit like a washing machine, but it only costs €6,000, or the equivalent of about $6,600.