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New Electric Vehicle Beats Tesla When it Comes to the Environment

A new EV would radically change how cars are made and that could be a threat to the market leader.

Whoever heard of making a car with cardboard? 

Well, Citroen, for one. The automaker said the oli, its new electric concept vehicle, includes "a strong flat bonnet, roof and pick-up bed panels strong enough to stand on made from re-cycled honeycomb cardboard."

Citroen said a statement that the oli is not a car, but rather "a multi-purpose everyday extension to your life that is as useful when you aren’t driving it as when you are."

"Just because we have electric vehicles doesn’t mean we couldn’t go further," the company tweeted.

Keeping the EVs Weight Down

The tweet includes a promotional video of the oli in action.

"The less you weight, the less you consume, the less you consume, you go," the video says. "It's as simple as that. So we kept just enough of everything."

"It's not enough magic, it's enough," the video declares

The vehicle has a target weight of roughly 1,000 kilograms, or one metric ton, and a range of as much as, 248 miles. 

"Rather than being a 2,500kg ‘palace on wheels’ filled with screens and gadgets, oli proves that with enough of the things customers need and want," the company said. 

The concept of a lighter car is nothing new for Citroen, as the idea dates back to the early 20th Century when founder Andre Citroen worked to make a quality lightweight vehicle. 

And to keep the connection with its roots, Citroen unveiled a new logo that harks back to 1919, the year the company launched.

'A Growing Awareness'

"Consumers can sense the era of abundance may be over and increasing regulations as well as rising costs may limit our ability to move around freely," Citroën CEO Vincent Cobée said in a statement. "At the same time, a growing awareness of the need to accelerate efforts to prevent climate change is making us more eco-conscious and discerning.”

Citroen is a subsidiary of Stellantis  (STLA) - Get Free Report, which said early this year it would go full battery electric by 2028. The Citroen brand recorded 796,868 sales in 2021, up 7% from the previous year.

Recycled materials are being used in other vehicles. The Fisker  (FSR) - Get Free Report Ocean will use upcycled materials, including reclaimed fishing nets, old t-shirts, and renewed rubber.

Fisker recently rolled out its very first Fisker Ocean on Magna International’s   (MGA) - Get Free Report high-volume production line. A company spokesperson said in August that "we want to have most sustainable vehicle on the road."

In addition, BMW  (BMWYY)  last year unveiled the i Vision Circular, a compact electric vehicle that the German carmaker says is designed entirely around recycled and recyclable materials.

'A Brilliant Concept''

The reaction to the oli on social media was generally positive.

"I would immediately buy this car," one person tweeted. "Please produce it!

"I would buy that," another person said.

But another post read "please make a v8 supercar or hypercar, like the Citroen GT."

"What it gains with lower weight, it loses with its aerodynamics ... a completely vertical windshield?!," one critic observed. "Back to 1919 not just with the logo it seems."

"This looks like a brilliant concept. Usable, eco friendly, lightweight, rugged, affordable," another person said. "Start production fast, and don't wait for other to take lead of this ideas".

"Patience, patience," Citroen responded.