Citroen unveils its latest car, an all-electric concept car made of cardboard

The Citroen Oli is turning heads in the motoring industry.

Citroen says the Oli’s manifesto is ‘less is more’ with a focus on simplicity and lightness to achieve sustainability, going away from today’s norm of cars having some high-tech two-tonne gadget-fest.

The quirky French brand decided to make the car – which isn’t directly previewing a production model – out of unconventional materials. Most surprising is the use of recycled corrugated cardboard sandwiched in a honeycomb shape between fibreglass panels to keep weight down and improve efficiency while still being strong enough.

The Oli definitely has a unique look. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but the most unconventional silhouettes in the band’s history have gone on to become their most iconic. A good example of this is the Citroen 2CV DS and even the latest Ami, with both of these cars looking unlike anything else on the roads to this day, and have made their places in automotive history.

Rather than using ‘dynamic lines’ in its design, Citroen decided to go against the grain and use vertical and horizontal lines for the Oli, giving it that flat windscreen and flat ‘pick-up bed’ – the French carmaker is proud to point out it’s done something ‘other vehicle makers wouldn’t dare to do.’

Citroen claims that there’s also a practical reason for the vertical windscreen, as it uses the least amount of material possible, given that a vertical windscreen has the shortest distance from top to bottom.

Citroen has adopted other novel ways to improve the Oli’s recyclability.

The seats are made of a mesh that allows for more natural light throughout the car and are made of 80% less parts than a traditional seat.

The Oli also boasts removable Bluetooth speakers instead of a built in sound system, which has us wondering why it’s never been done before. These are a lot lighter than a built-in setup and can be taken with you when you want to listen to music outside the car.

The vehicle’s 40kWh battery is capable of an impressive-for-the-size 248 miles between charges, thanks to its lightweight setup. It’ll take around 23 minutes to charge the car from 20% to 80%. Its top speed is limited to 68mph in the name of efficiency, though, so it’s not expected to give you a thrilling drive. Although having just cardboard and fibreglass between you and the outside might raise your adrenaline…

Citroen states that the wheels are made of a blend of aluminium and steel, to keep weight down. Citroen teamed up with Goodyear to develop a sustainable tyre, which is said to be good for 50,000 miles. It’s made of rice husk, pine tree resins, sunflower oils and natural rubber to replace the synthetic petroleum-based rubber compounds used in common tyres.

The Citroen Oli is the first car to boast the company’s new logo. It’s a nod back to Citroen’s original logo from 1919, and is another way the brand is looking back to look forward.
Citroen CEO Vincent Cobee points out that cars have become much heavier and complex over the years due to safety and legal requirements, but maybe the answer is to look at simplifying cars for the future in a way that strikes a better balance between sustainability, safety and utility.

1 thought on “Citroen unveils its latest car, an all-electric concept car made of cardboard”

  1. I am hit by a number of conflicting, supporting and surprising thoughts on this novel little number from Citroen.

    Yes, it can definitely be called unconventional, ugly if you will; but balance that against it’s green credentials of battery mileage, weight, use of recyclable materials and ultra-long-lasting tyres – which, by the way Michelin, sound like an amazing idea that we need to see coming into production to reduce the amount of rubber being used – it is a concept that I think needs to be given a lot of press. The idea that it’s more efficient to manufacture a flat windscreen smacks in the face of the aero-dynamic equivalents, and given the speed is limited to 68mph, that simple step backwards is going to have a minimal impact on the drive and economy of the vehicle.

    If someone asked me to test drive this Citroen, I would jump at the opportunity to see how different the drive is, as well as the Bluetooth speaker system that can be removed from the vehicle – YES … why has no-one thought about this before???

    Citroen may have thrown the gauntlet down to other manufacturers, both main stream and smaller independents … look what we can do, can you do any better/different.

    So come on the likes of VW, Mercedes, Fiat, GM, BMW-Mini, Toyota, and so on … What can you do ? Hydrogen rather than electric ? Green, recycled and recyclable materials ? An energy efficient and planet protecting manufacturing and end of life process …

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