Would You Drive an EV Made Out of Recycled Cardboard?

A new electric concept car from Citreon uses recyclable materials to make an efficient car that weighs less than the average EV. Learn more about it here. 
Written by Allison Stone
Reviewed by Serena Aburahma
car brand
Citroen has a new concept car that is taking eco-friendly design to the next level. The concept is known as “oli”, and it has a target weight of 1,000 kilograms or about 2,204 pounds. The average electric car can weigh anywhere from 3,300 to 4,400 pounds. 
According to
, the secret to this car’s lightweight design is using recycled materials, including what the Citreon CEO has referred to as “recycled honeycomb cardboard.”
To learn more about this new concept and what it means for the future of EVs, the car ownership experts at
have taken a deep dive into the oli concept car. 

Electric cars have a weight problem

Electric cars are just one small piece of the puzzle when it comes to lowering global carbon emissions, but even they have their limitations as an eco-friendly alternative to gas. Many electricity sources, for example, still rely on an electric grid powered by fossil fuels. 
The added weight of batteries from electric cars is another concerning factor for environmentalists. While EVs may not produce tailpipe emissions, heavier cars create more friction on the roads and thus produce more toxic particles known as “brake dust.”
Some studies have shown that brake dust, or nanoparticles produced from brake pad abrasion, can be just as harmful to air, soil, and water systems as greenhouse gases. 
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Making electric cars more sustainable

In order to make EVs an even better option for the environment, engineers have to get creative. One electric concept car made by a group of students in the Netherlands, for example, removes carbon from the atmosphere while driving.
Citroen, on the other hand, is working to make a car that is as lightweight as possible in order to maximize efficiency. “Rather than being a 2,500kg ‘palace on wheels’ filled with screens and gadgets, oli proves that more can be achieved with less,” said a document from the automaker. 
According to the document released by Citroen, the oli contains vehicle parts that can be reused or recycled throughout the car’s lifetime and even has a flat bonnet, roof, and pick-up bed panels that are made from recycled honeycomb cardboard. 
Being such a lightweight vehicle of course has its limitations. The oli concept car boasts an impressive 248-mile range and lightning-fast charging speed of just 23 minutes but is also limited to a maximum top speed of 68 mph. 
MORE: What's the Most Eco-Friendly Car In the U.S.?

Accessibility is key

In addition to being more eco-friendly, Citroen CEO Vincent Cobée stressed that part of developing the oli concept is learning how to make EVs more available to everyone. 
He went on to say that while we’ve seen massive leaps taken in electric vehicle performance, the same resources have not been devoted to efficiency or accessibility. 
“This for us is a concern because, honestly, if the future of an electric car is 2.5 tons of weight and 70,000 euros or more of price, then it’s not for everyone,” said Cobée to CNBC. 
A car like the oli will likely never see mass production, but it is an important research opportunity when it comes to developing more cost-effective and efficient electric cars. 
Making electric car ownership more affordable benefits everyone, but until cheaper EVs enter the marketplace, there are other ways to save. The average Jerry user saves over $800 a year on
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MORE: These Two Companies Are Teaming Up to Make EV Tires More Eco-Friendly
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