Citroën E-Mehari debuts, confuses… [w/ Poll]

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Last week (I really need to start writing these articles on time!) Citroën revealed the E-Mehari, a sort of electric buggy that is sort of a followup to the iconic, 2CV-based Mehari… If you haven’t guessed yet, I still haven’t really figured out what this car stands for. On one hand it is released by Citroën, a brand that has been on a good run turning interesting concepts into production cars. On the other, it is co-developed with Bolloré Group, the maker of the Bluecar, an electric city-vehicle that only really sells to French car-sharing schemes. It’s not even built on one of Citroën’s own platforms, but instead is just a slightly remodeled Bolloré Bluesummer, with which it shares a 30kWh lithium polymer battery pack, making it less substantial than a “real” car.  The release was accompanied with precious few pictures, as though the company was ashamed to show the interior. Like I said, I am confused…

But, confusion aside, the big question is whether an open-top, four-seat electric quasi-buggy with a 68mph/110km/h top speed has any chance in the marketplace. It certainly is unique, though that did not exactly help the hapless C3 Pluriel. Plus, Citroën certainly did itself no favors by showing off the arguably much more attractive Cactus M Concept earlier this year. But I’m really interested to hear what you all think:

Can the E-Mehari be even a moderate sales success?

  • No way - this will sit alongside the C3 Pluriel and Peugeot 1007 as one of PSA's biggest duds (46%, 22 Votes)
  • Maybe, it's too weird to be able to tell yet (27%, 13 Votes)
  • Could have been a contender if it looked like the Cactus M Concept (17%, 8 Votes)
  • Absolutely - great idea meets great execution! (10%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 48

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About Krzysztof Wozniak

Kriss grew up in Poland reading German car magazines, before moving to England and graduating to the British magazines, which he still considers the best in the world and continues reading them after he'd moved to the US. In college he promised himself he's buy himself a used Porsche before he turned 30 (not to be accused of having a mid-life crisis), but instead family needs dictated a Subaru Outback. Still waiting for that perfect moment to buy a used 2008-ish Cayman...
You can find all his articles Here.

Comments

  1. Daniel Vile says:

    I have to say I love the look of this, and I think it brings something funky to the electric car market. At last something that is both electric yet fun, instead of trying so hard to look like a sleek seamless vehicle like something from the film ‘Flight of the navigator’. Anything that helps increase the market for electric vehicles can only be a good thing for the environment, and this should appeal to the quirky and modern car buyer who wan to stand out and have some fun.

    I would love to see an article looking at the trends for Electric Car styling,
    Apart from this car and the new BMW range it looks like all the style of new concepts never make it through to a conservative market

  2. It looks… Californian.

  3. The Cactus M looks better, but for a car that will mostly be sold to French rental companies I think it’s a smart move to cooperate with Groupe Bolloré.

  4. Krzysztof Wozniak says:

    @Losange – I agree that IF you want to sell an electric car to French rental companies than shacking up with Groupe Bolloré is probably the right way to go. But for me the question is WHY would Citroen want to sell an electric car to French rental companies? Will it earn it $$$? Build the brand? Give it some crucial know-how for a full-on assault on the EV market?

  5. @Krzysztof

    Tesla never made any profit at all so I don’t see why an electric funcar has to make money straightaway. Of course the E-Mehari will not be a moneymaker for Citroen, because it’s an exclusive French project. After the unsuccessful C-Zero, which is a rebadged Mitsubishi, I can understand why they introduce something different. And the E-Mehari may not be as distinctive as the old Méhari or the Cactus M, but it’s typical Citroen to produce cars like this so it will never be negative for the brand. Let’s be fair, nobody will drive the E-Mehari on French highways. However it’s an ideal car for seaside trips and, surprisingly, the tourist numbers in France are high. The highest in the world to be exact 😉

    In comparison with Renault, PSA isn’t successful yet with EVs. PSA will not introduce new EVs before 2020. Very late, but first they’re busy to rearrange their brands.

  6. From what i’ve read in a couple of magazines Citroens expectations are to sell between 1000 to 3000 of these… per year. Pretty sure they can manage that.

    It’s also ( like you said ) a rebadged BlueSummer ( a car that is now being made by Citroen/PSA ), so making money on it is probably already a given.

Let me know what you think of this article. Thanks!

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