Discover Citroën and BASF’s collaboration: oli, an innovative concept car | Sculpteo Blog

Discover Citroën and BASF’s collaboration: oli, an innovative concept car

Posted By Lucie Gaget on Sep 29, 2022 | 0 comments

A collaboration between Citroën and BASF gave life to a fully electric concept car. An innovative project is pushing the limits by rethinking the design and the different components of the vehicle, proving that simplicity can go with enhanced functionality. Sculpteo’s online 3D printing service also played a role in this project by 3D printing several parts using TPU. 


The oli concept car puts affordable mobility and sustainability at the center.


A co-creation bringing new solutions


Citroën and BASF developed a fully electric vehicle and thought about the future car. Together, they elaborated on how additive manufacturing could support this vision with plastics, coatings, and technologies adapted to this demanding project. 


Projects such as the development of the concept car together with Citroën are a big boost on our way towards a more sustainable future,” explained Uta Holzenkamp, President Coatings, representing the automotive team at BASF. “You need innovation and creative minds to bring the ideas from the different companies together.” BASF has been pursuing an ambitious sustainability strategy for years now, with projects such as ChemCyclingTM to improve the chemical recycling of plastics and the biomass balance approach, in which fossil resources are replaced with renewables in production.  


Laurence Hansen, Citroën Product & Strategy Director, also sees this collaboration as a real promise for the future. “The collaboration with BASF was a key factor in the design of oli and in developing an electric vehicle that’s as fun and efficient as possible for the near future. The innovative electric car runs counter to the trend toward increasingly heavier and more complex vehicles, instead focusing on ease and simplicity. It demonstrates how to keep environmental impact to a minimum while bringing back the fun of an available, electric vehicle,” Hansen said. 


Oli concept car

Source: BASF

Sustainable and straightforward with an iconic look


A colorful vehicle, with an iconic look, with car seats 3D-printed with a breathing grid structure and a vehicle floor with a design inspired by a sneaker. The interior of the car has been thought to be as practical as possible and simplify the ride. The choice was made to use only one type of material, TPU, making it easier for mechanical recycling at the end of the product life cycle. At the same time, the 3D printing process of all these parts ensures low-waste production and durable material for a long product life cycle!


This principle of simplicity was also implemented during production. With the driver and front passenger doors being identical, this saves on pressing tools and reduces complexity. The same applies to all wheel arches and bumpers. The oli concept car is proof of the fact that sustainability and an appealing design are not contradictory.  


Advanced materials and coatings for more simplicity and functionality


Putting Sculpteo’s expertise at the service of innovation


At Sculpteo, we 3D printed the car seats, one of the big highlights of this concept car. The complete backrest is made of a flexible 3D-printed plastic material using TPU material (Ultrasint® TPU88A). This material was the perfect choice for manufacturing complex 3D-printed geometries, making them both flexible and functional. Regarding the seat’s design, the open lattice structure provides natural airflow and replaces all ventilators in the seat. The seat’s durability has been enhanced with an elastic waterborne coating (Ultracur3D® Coat F), which withstands all stresses on the substrate. The form supports storage areas; Sculpteo 3D printed a total of twenty parts for this project.


Oli concept car

Source: BASF

BASF going further with high-performance plastics and coatings


BASF also used another high-performance plastic found in the rear armrest and interior floor. Infinergy® is an expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) known to be used for running shoes or sports flooring. Light and robust, this elastic plastic is also highly resistant to abrasion, giving oli pleasant and durable floors and armrests. This material also has the faculty to dampen noise and vibrations. A special coating has also been applied, the water-based NovaCoat-P, which protects against abrasion, UV  radiation, dirt, and chemicals. 


Concept car interior

Source: BASF


The exterior of the vehicle also has some particularities! The weight of the vehicle exterior has also been reduced while increasing its stability and durability. Used for coating the car body, R-M® AGILIS® is another BASF product providing greater sustainability with its low content of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Lastly, the BASF Catho®Guard 800 Electrocoat, which protects the battery housing from corrosion, contributes to further resource savings as it is tin/HAPs-free and has low solvent content. 


Oli is proving that automotive and additive manufacturing has a promising future together. If you are looking for a manufacturing partner for automotive projects, Sculpteo’s 3D printing experts are here to help and support you along your journey. Contact us to start opening new opportunities with 3D printing, or upload your 3D file directly to our online platform for an instant quote.


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