The decline of the minicar in Europe combined with a miniscule number of small cars on the market that cost less than €15,000 (about $16,500) has given new life to the microcar segment.
The Renault Twizy had the niche to itself for years, providing an affordable, four-wheel, battery-driven vehicle primarily to young city dwellers.
Stellantis’ family of brands now offers three electric-powered microcars: the Citroen Ami, Opel Rocks-e and Fiat Topolino. The models have a top speed limited to 45 kph (28 mph) and the minimum driving age is 14 years old in many countries.
To keep pace with demand, Stellantis is investing in its plant in Kenitra, Morocco, to double production of the microcars.
The Ami, first launched in 2020, and the Rocks-e have been a success for Stellantis. Production of the Citroen and Opel variants totaled about 20,000 units in 2022, with the addition of the Topolino expected to increase output to 35,000 to 40,000 units this year, supplier sources have told Automotive News Europe.
Renault's response comes this year with the arrival of the Duo from its mobility services unit, Mobilize. The Duo promises improved range, more comfort and optional higher maximum speeds than the Twizy. Renault says it can build up to 17,000 Duos a year at its factory in Tanger, Morocco.