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September 30, 2022

The Citroën Oli Is A Pickup Truck Made Of Cardboard

After revealing a refreshed logo a few days back, French carmaker Citroën has revealed a concept car that’s meant to provide an “unconventional” look at family mobility with the Oli.

Stylized as the “oli,” it’s a pickup truck that goes against the trend of big screens and gadgets. Instead, this one proves that you can be more with less. Starting with its construction, the Oli’s hood, roof, and even pickup bed are made from recycled corrugated cardboard framed and formed into a honeycomb sandwich structure between fiberglass reinforcing panels. It’s then coated in a polyurethane resin co-developed with BASF. The result are panels which are rigid, light, and strong while weight is reduced by 50 percent compared to an equivalent steel roof construction. The “multi-activity” vehicle, according to Citroën achieves best-in-class lifecycle assessment.

The concept pickup truck is quite compact—4.20 meters long, 1.65 meters high, and 1.90 meters wide but thanks to the use of flat surfaces, Citroën was able to come up with a very unique design. Moreover, instead of imbuing it with dynamic lines, the Oli uses vertical or horizontal lines for efficiency. For example, the windshield is vertical because it uses the smallest amount of glass. The doors are also identical and doesn’t contain any sound proofing or even electrical wiring. Want fresh air? There’s a manual flip up pantograph opening section.

The 20-inch wheels and tires too use a hybrid steel and aluminum construction to keep costs and weight down. The specially designed Goodyear Eagle GO concept tire fitted comes with sustainability and longevity in mind (it’s supposed to last up to 500,000 kilometers with its renewable tread). It even comes with technology that monitors its condition and health.

Instead of a conventional trunk, the Oli features a pickup bed inside for added practicality. The rear seat headrests pop into the roof and the rear glass opens upward. This allows the load bed to extend from 679 mm to 1,050 mm. There’s even a secure trunk space located below the bed.

Inside, it takes minimalism to a whole new level. The seats themselves use 80 percent fewer parts (8 rather than 37), while the dashboard, as a whole, uses just 34 parts compared to 75 in a conventional hatchback. Looking for the infotainment? It uses your smartphone which is docked in a central socket. Once plugged in, phone information and apps are merged with essential vehicle data like speed and charge level. This is made visible via a ‘Smartband’ system, which projects information across the width of the lower windscreen surround. The speakers? They’re removable Bluetooth loudspeakers.

Citroën’s eco-conscious thinking behind the Oli results in a 400-kilometer range using a 40-kWh battery. They’ve also limited the top speed to just 109 km/h for the sake of efficiency. A Nissan Leaf, with a similarly sized battery maxes out at 311 kilometers.

The Oli also supports Vehicle to Grid or V2G capability. It can store excess energy from home solar panels and sell this back to energy suppliers, as well as helping to manage power issues when there is peak demand or a power outage in the grid. Its Vehicle to Load or V2L capability, meanwhile can output 3.6 kWh—enough to provide power to a 3,000-watt electrical device for around 12 hours.

Citroën says the Oli is a concept car for now, but shown by their Ami runabout, it’s meant to open a new kind of mobility that promises true low cost of ownership. The various design and engineering features in the Oli will be made available in future production models, the company says.

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