The small electric quad bike with 100 km range wants to compete with the Citroën AMI and arrives in France

Contact! Birò, a new electric quadricycle, reinforces the offer of small urban vehicles that can be driven without a license. After Renault’s Twizy (launched in 2012) and Citroën’s AMI (which will be launched in 2020), it is the Italian company Estrima that arrives in the centers of French cities with its small vehicle, and in particular in Paris where there is a dedicated store, the Birò Store *, lets you find out. “20 Minutes”, which his competitors had already tested, was able to cover a few miles with him.

From the tractor to the quadricycle

It’s a name that probably doesn’t mean anything to you. Birò is Italian, born and raised near Venice. It was the company Estrima that designed and created this electric quadricycle, taking advantage of its know-how of the 30 years of manufacture of high safety tractor cabs. Needless to say, there is a real sense of security on board the Birò. Its metal frame inspires confidence, and although the passenger compartment of the vehicle is still very plastic, the driver and his passenger are at ease. Also, no real space issues as we noticed when we sat down next to Côme Drescher, the general manager of Birò France, who accompanied us to our test.

At 1.74 meters long, Birò can park between two cars. – OFFICE

“Birò is the smallest electric quadricycle with a length of 1.74 meters, a width of 1.03 meters and a height of 1.56 meters,” recalls Côme Drescher. Compared to the Citroën AMI which measures 2.41 x 1.39 x 1.52 meters (L x W x H), the reduced length of the vehicle is in its favor.

Park (almost) everywhere and for free

With the ability to drive without a license from the age of 14, Birò is easy to drive. Before entering the road you only need to tame two pedals (one accelerator and one brake), without forgetting a small lever to operate (to choose forward or reverse). Nothing significant. The vehicle, whose top speed is 45 km / h, requires a good torque with a little push during acceleration and fast braking.

The absence of power steering requires keeping both hands on the steering wheel to turn and maneuver. At the back, a small storage space of 41 liters allows you to store some races, but little else. A more advanced version of the Birò, the Birò Big, offers 300 liters of storage space with a real trunk.

Testing the quadricycle, despite a fairly approximate level of comfort, is appealing. We valued the possibility of sneaking practically everywhere, but above all, the possibility of parking perpendicular to the sidewalks between two cars (something that the AMI does not allow). Benefiting from a CritAir 0 sticker, the cost of parking the Biró is zero.

Two types of batteries to choose from

Estrima had a great idea for the lithium battery of his quadricycle. The manufacturer thus offers two possibilities: either a fixed battery with a range of 100 km (charging time in the mains: approximately 5 hours); or a removable battery with a range of 50 km (3 hours of recharging). Dilemma when buying, as one or the other possibility must be chosen.

A version of Birò with a removable battery is available and can be recharged in 3 hours.
A version of Birò with a removable battery is available and can be recharged in 3 hours. – OFFICE

Undoubtedly, the removable battery limits the autonomy of the small car, but it adds a great convenience: mounted on wheels, like a suitcase, this 27 kg battery can be easily removed and moved, so it can be recharged anywhere. Another point not to be overlooked: the basic price of the Birò (from 10,800 euros, ecological bonus of 900 euros not discounted) does not include … the doors. They are also removable (which can be noticeable on sunny days), but quickly become a must when the weather is not good.

Up to 16,000 euros with options

Thus, the price of the Birò can reach 16,000 euros with different options! Côme Drescher, CEO of Birò France, insists on almost endless customization possibilities, with, for example, the incorporation of Sonus Faber or Bose speakers, leather upholstery, or even a table top made of recycled plastic. . The manufacturer takes the opportunity to emphasize the “re-equip” aspect of your vehicle, which can be completely disassembled and reconditioned. “We will maintain the tubular structure of a Birò at the end of its life to make a new model,” Côme Drescher told “20 Minutes”. Another interesting point: the quadricycle includes as standard a telematics box that, linked to an application, allows to offer car sharing. Maybe that’s enough to make your purchase profitable.

The most commercially aggressive AMI

A purchase that is, if not a significant expense, a real civic commitment. We regret that Estima cannot offer such an aggressive commercial offer as Citroën and its AMI. This quadricycle is not only cheaper to buy (from 7390 euros, excluding the ecological bonus of 900 euros), but is also accessible with a very attractive long-term rental offer. It is based on a first rent of 3,700 euros, then monthly payments of 19.99 euros per month for 48 months. For its part, the Renault Twizy is offered at a price close to that of the Birò, from 11,600 euros, excluding the ecological bonus.

Without counting the costs, it ultimately remains difficult to oppose the different rivals. The Twizy is fun to drive, but probably at the end of its useful life. The AMI looks like a real small car with a very cozy but not so small enclosed living space. As for the Bureau, its compactness and modularity remain solid arguments. On the speed side, the same fight: up to 45 km / h. In terms of autonomy, the announced ones are 100 km for Twizy and Birò, and 75 km for AMI. The tastes and colors that are indisputable will remain.

* 27, rue des Archives, Paris IV.

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