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.