Citroën’s Electric Car Made from Recycled Cardboard

The French automaker's new EV concept car, Oli, prepares for a world with less resource

Pure, purposeful and defined by extreme horizontal and vertical lines, Citroën’s new electric vehicle concept car, Oli, is a future-forward family vehicle built for a world with scarce resources. Eschewing metal and steel, Oli’s roof and hood, co-created with BASF, are made from recycled corrugated cardboard that forms a honeycomb structure sandwiched between fiberglass panels. Other elements—including recycled bumpers, textiles and plastic that acts as durable protection—are also radically sustainable, fusing innovative design with a true commitment to the future.

In fact, the entire car is recyclable and every piece is easy to repair and multipurpose, placing the car’s longevity at around 50 years. The flatbed roof, for instance, doubles as a ladder, tent mount and bike rack. For extra driving efficiency, an experimental “Aero Duct” system creates airflow above the roof.

Inside, bright orange front seats converge with 3D-printed mesh backrests and a single symmetrical beam that situates the wheel, phone dock and an electrified rail that merges phone and car data which is projected on the lower windscreen.

The optimized minimal parts mean the car only weighs around 1,000kg, boasting an all-electric powertrain that needs only a 40kWh battery. “Citroën believes the time is right to say ‘enough’ to the trend for excess and expense and to focus instead on creating pure, honest vehicles that are lighter, less complicated and truly affordable, as well as inventive and joyful,” the company says in a statement. “With Oli, Citroën is showing how it will raise the stakes for future family mobility by re-thinking every detail to reduce resources and materials without compromising on quality or versatility.”

Images courtesy of Citroën