Citroën’s Budget Recycle Bin BEV Future

Citroën has revealed its ‘cheap’ recycle-bin BEV it claims could be the way forward to getting more people to make the switch from ICE powered vehicles.

The futuristic looking conceptual oli [pronounced all-ë] is designed to do the same for family mobility that Ami achieved for personal urban mobility. Stripped of most of the gadgets and technology we’ve seen from premium BEV, the oli claims to have sustainability at its heart with optimal use of lightweight and recycled materials, to sustainable production processes, and from durability for an extended ‘life in service’ to responsible end-of-life recyclability.

The seats, for example, are simply constructed and use 80% less parts than a traditional seat. They are made of recycled materials and clever ‘mesh’ backrest designs enhance the natural light inside the vehicle. They can also be easily upgraded or personalized to suit the taste of individual owners.

The platform, too, is made from recycled corrugated cardboard formed into a honeycomb sandwich structure between fiberglass reinforcing panels, they have been co-created with BASF. They are coated in Elastoflex Polyurethane resin covered in a protective layer of tough, textured Elastocoat, which is often used on parking decks or loading ramps, and painted with innovative, waterborne BASF R-M Agilis paint. Citroën says the panels are very rigid, light and strong, strong enough for an adult to stand on them, and weight is reduced by 50% when compared to an equivalent steel roof construction.

How cheap?

While Citroën CEO, Vincent Cobée highlights the modern vehicle’s burgeoning weight since the 800kgs (1,760-lbs) average for family cars from the 1970s, we don’t get told exactly what the new concept weighs. Nor do we have any ballpark estimates of what Citroën  expect to sell this budget BEV for should it, or a similar derivative, ever come to market. However, some reports suggest the vehicle will weigh under 1,000kgs (2,200lbs) and cost about €27,000 ($26,274).

Nonetheless, we are told the lightweighting will enhance its range for a comparatively small powerpack. The automaker says oli can extend the range of the 40kWh battery on board to up to 248 miles between charges. It also claims an energy efficiency rate of 6.2 miles per kWh compared to a Kia Niro EV with 5 miles per kWh. Citroën has also limited the top speed of the oli to 68mph to maximize efficiency, while rapid charging capability ensures a charge from 20% to 80% takes just 23 minutes.

Cobée, said: “We called this project ‘oli’ as a nod to Ami, and because it sums up what the vehicle is all about – further proof that only Citroën can deliver no-nonsense, All-Electric mobility to all kinds of people in unexpected, responsible and rewarding ways. Three societal conflicts are happening simultaneously – first is the value of and dependence on mobility, second is economic constraints and resource uncertainty, and third is our growing sense of desire for a responsible and optimistic future. Citroën believes electrification should not mean extortion and being eco-conscious should not be punitive by restricting our mobility or making vehicles less rewarding to live with.  We need to reverse the trends by making them lighter and less expensive and find inventive ways to maximize usage.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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