For Citroën, predicting the future of affordable mobility is an obsession, and the success of Ami 100% ëlectric has provided the impetus to take ‘unconventional’ to a new level in the conceptual oli [all-ë]. Citroën oli concept is designed to do the same for family mobility that Ami achieved for personal urban mobility. Significantly, oli acts as a precursor to the concepts and innovations that will be available in future Citroën electric models. While Ami was literally a small step in ‘walking the talk’, oli signals an exciting leap forwards. Rather than being a 2,500kg ‘palace on wheels’ filled with screens and gadgets, oli proves that more can be achieved with less, and showcases how inventive use of responsible materials and a sustainable production process can lead to inexpensive yet desirable zero-emission vehicles that meet multiple lifestyles. 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. 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.
Citroën CEO, Vincent Cobée, explains: “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. A typical mid-70s family car weighed around 800kg and was 3.7 m long and 1.6m wide. Today’s equivalents have grown to more than 1200kg, at least 4.3 m long and 1.8m wide. Some even weigh more than 2500kg. Legal and safety requirements have driven some of this, but if the trend continues and we carry on parking these vehicles 95% of each day and driving 80% of journeys with a single occupant, the conflict between the need to protect our planet and the future promise of sustainable, electrified mobility will not easily be resolved. 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 maximise usage”.
Citroën oli is a conceptual multi-activity family vehicle with sustainability at its heart and demonstrates how ‘best-in-class’ Life-Cycle-Assessment (LCA) can be achieved, from conception with restrained, 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. Thoughtful details are found throughout. 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 personalised to suit the taste of individual owners. Through the use of lightweight materials, oli can extend the range of the 40kWh battery on board to up to 248 miles between charges. Citroën has also limited the top speed of the oli to 68mph to maximise efficiency, while rapid charging capability ensures a charge from 20% to 80% takes just 23 minutes. Citroën oli has been designed to maximise longevity and durability. This has prompted Citroën to re-evaluate every service and experience it provides to electric vehicle owners throughout their participation with the brand, particularly in the face of rising costs and the challenges of mobility.
Citroën oli is effectively a life partner – a useful everyday entity that helps people live life to the full, even when it’s not on the move. Citroën enjoys a legacy of inventing consumer lifestyles that went with its vehicles, and as a new generation of customers is being even more creative in living with the unorthodox Ami, the optimistic spirit of oli can potentially do the same. By supporting smart ‘Vehicle to Grid’ (V2G) capability, the potential exists for a vehicle like oli to make money for its owner by storing excess energy from home solar panels, and selling 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. Citroën oli also shows how a vehicle can perform as a home away from home for summer trips to the beach or a camping weekend in the hills, thanks to its ‘Vehicle to Load’ (V2L) capability. Considering its 40kWh battery and a power socket output of 3.6kW (the equivalent of a 230v 16amp domestic socket), oli can theoretically provide power to a 3,000 w electric device for around 12 hours.
Striking and clearly making a statement, oli’s unconventional stance and silhouette exude personality, productivity and positivity in a footprint similar to a compact SUV at 4.20m long, 1.65m high and 1.90m wide. It defies traditional labelling. oli can be whatever it needs to be – family limo, urban explorer, adventure vehicle, workmate, or even an extension to the family home thanks to its ability to power everyday appliances. In oli, the aesthetic approach has been deliberately exaggerated to reinforce functionality and versatility. And, like Ami, it is not afraid to show its simple and intuitive approach and distinguishes itself with its playful use of colour highlights, bright trim materials and vivacious patterns that advocate opportunities for personalisation. The team thought through each element of oli based on the need for multiple functionality, weight and complexity reduction by using fewer or more common parts, and the responsible use of recycled or recyclable materials wherever possible.
oli’s flat bonnet, roof and rear ‘pick-up bed’ panels, as well as driving the vehicle’s unique silhouette, were chosen to meet the objectives for low weight, high strength and maximum durability. Made from recycled corrugated cardboard formed into a honeycomb sandwich structure between fibreglass reinforcing panels, they have been co-created with partner BASF. Load carrying versatility is not compromised either, as roof rails each side of the roof panel allow owners to attach accessories like bicycle racks and roof boxes for family vacations, while below the bonnet panel are neatly detailed storage areas including compartments for charging cables plus personal and emergency items. 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. The panels are very rigid, light and strong – so strong that an adult can stand on them – and weight is reduced by 50 per cent when compared to an equivalent steel roof construction.
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