Estrima Birò: we drove with the rival of the Citroën Ami and we had a lot of fun

The Estrima Birò arrives in France as a light electric quadricycle available from the age of 14, without a driving license. We were able to try it during a short stroll through the streets of Paris. A practical and fun concept, but clearly not suitable for all budgets.

Estrima Birò
Source: Estrima

You probably know the electric car without a license from Citroën, the famous Ami. We will now have to rely on another similar vehicle, I named the Estrima Birò, straight from Italy and described as ” a scooter with four wheels by company founder Matteo Maestri.

The Estrima Birò is accessible from the age of 14 with an AM license (ex-BSR), for its 45 km/h version. A more powerful model limited to 65 km/h exists and therefore belongs to the L7e category. The latter conditions the age of the driver to 16 years and requires obtaining the highway code and a practical test of about thirty minutes (B1 license).

A tiny stencil

For its arrival in France, the Estrima Birò is entitled to its dedicated and permanent shop, located at 27 rue des Archives, in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. Produced in a factory not far from Venice and sold in just over 4,500 units since its launch, this lightweight quadricycle aims to provide a new mobility solution.

Obviously, his place is in the city. What’s more in view of its ultra-compact format, with a length culminating at 1740 mm for the version without box, against 1835 mm with, and a width of 1030 mm. Tell yourself that the BMW CE 04 electric scooter boasts more generous dimensions with its 2285 mm.

The least we can say is that the Estrima Birò has its effect at first sight. Not for its very innocuous design, if not tasteless, but for its very small size: parking it perpendicular to the pavement is for example quite possible, which necessarily makes your life easier when you are looking for a square.

Spartan interior

This observation is also an integral part of the founder’s philosophy. “We have to think about changing the paradigm, with a vehicle that is as light as possible, easy to park to always find space and very bright.“, explains Matteo Maestri. Very bright, it is the case to say it.

In the small space of the passenger compartment, you are bathed in constant light thanks to transparent Plexiglas doors and a “sunroofplaced all around you. The interior is nonetheless very spartan, with questionable quality materials (hard plastic). An assumed choice to pull the price down.

Let’s be clear: don’t expect a comfortable vehicle with exemplary finishes. With two adults in our case, space is limited. The steering wheel and the pedals are also very slightly offset to your right, which forces you to slightly orient your body. It’s just a quesiton of habit.

Between 50 and 100 km of autonomy

Either way, you are not meant to drive this vehicle for several hours at a time. The Estrima Birò is primarily used for short urban journeys in order to move around in a practical way. Its autonomy of 55 or 100 km depending on the battery configuration limits you, in this sense, to short or medium trips.

On the larger version (Big), the trunk just allows you to put two or three backpacks in the back, no more. On the smaller models (Summer which contains no door and Winter, which has one), it will be necessary to compose without storage space.

Note also the absence of adjustment for the two headrests, ideally placed for a person of 175 centimeters. On the other hand, for smaller drivers, a real question of safety arises if nothing comes to support the back of your skull. In the event of a violent impact, this can be dangerous.

A go-anywhere vehicle

The cockpit is extremely simple, with an analog meter in the center, a single stalk for the indicators, a boost button, another for demisting, two USB-C sockets, a handbrake, asliderto change driving mode, a support for your smartphone… and that’s it. Do not rely on air conditioning.

Is the Estrima Birò pleasant and fun to drive? Yes. You have the impression of handling a small all-purpose toy whose tiny size allows you to sneak around wherever you want. With contained dimensions, the Birò is extremely easy to tame. You are fully aware of what it represents in space.

Obviously, do not expect a racing beast capable of slamming a 0 to 100 km / h in less than five seconds in view of its limited power of 3.3 kW. The Birò does not pin you to the seat, even foot to the floor. And this is clearly not the effect wanted by the instigators of the project, although a bit more nervousness would not have been refused.

Easy to load

The comfort and ability of the vehicle to absorb shocks have also been put aside: on speed bumps, remember to drastically reduce your speed at the risk of being heckled. On the charging side, the Birò can be plugged into any 220 V power outlet. This can be practical for recharging the removable battery, which is fitted with small wheels to transport it easily despite its weight.

The recharge time varies according to the configuration of the battery and oscillates between 3 h and 6 h. Plugging it in at night therefore seems a relevant solution. An application for geolocating one’s means of transport is also on the program, thanks to the integration of a GPS.

In principle, the Estrima Birò is an interesting proposition, but unfortunately, the relatively expensive price list may put off more than one. Who is this four-wheeler really for, after all? At present, the customers are mainly 40s, 50s and more of the affluent.

A specific target

On the professional side, operators specializing in car sharing have also set their sights on it, particularly in Marseille, Matteo Maestri tells us. But it is clear that despite its very practical small size on a daily basis, it is more expensive than the Citroën Ami by several thousand euros.

Estrima Birò
Source: Estrima

The Estrima Birò oscillates between 10,000 and more than 13,000 euros depending on the model, when the Citroën Ami is available from 7390 euros. Different target or not, the gap is real. At that price, excellent e-scooters can also be an attractive alternative, not to mention the many e-bikes available on the market.

Certainly, the Birò wants to replace scooters, bicycles and scooters. But a real question arises: for urban travel, who really wants to invest more than 10,000 euros in such a Spartan vehicle likely to suffer traffic jams in big cities when on a bike, scooter and scooter, agility is stake?

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