BASF is teaming up to break new ground
oli [all-ë] - Citroën concept car created with materials and expertise from BASF
Together with Citroën, we joined this journey to a new fully electric car concept: oli [all-ë]. Less is more! This is not about the fastest or most luxurious car but a testament to how much can be saved by reducing weight and resource usage on a step forward to sustainable mobility. A minimalistic approach paved the way for a refreshing and innovative design. Various components have been radically reinterpreted and constructed by using materials in a different context. The team was using plastics, coatings and 3D printing from BASF in a way that had never been done before. Explore this microcosm of ideas and solutions!
Sustainability can certainly be fun
Together with Citroën we tackled the question: What are the requirements for a vehicle of the future? A key factor in this is answering the question of sustainability. Is it enough to use eco-efficient materials? Or can entire components be eliminated? Can simplicity lead to greater efficiency and also enhance aesthetics?
By exploring the car you will learn about a concept that signals responsibility, withstands adventures, is multifunctional and enables an easy and joyful ride.
Pushing the limits
Have you ever thought about this? The primary inspiration for a product does not come from a shape design, but from a material or a technology. Material first - styling later! Our plastics, coatings and 3D printing technology support Citroën's design vision, giving their ideas a bold, daring and always optimistic look and feel. When you browse this website you will find many examples to increase the feasibility of mechanical recycling and enhance circular economy, to develop new car constructive solutions and at the same time to create an appealing design.
Explore the BASF products in the car
How to create a car that helps people live life to the full?
For us it was a great motivation to pursue this concept to make the car a practical and potentially long-lasting family member. That is why durability, recyclability and simplicity play such a crucial role in the interior's materials. One prominent example for the recyclability aspect: To increase the feasibility of mechanical recycling and enhance the circular economy of the vehicle, materials from a single product family were selected. Our TPU (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) are incredibly versatile and allow different functions to be provided using only one single material.
Jump on it!
The user should literally be able to stand on the hood, roof and trunk. It is built to survive all your activities! Exterior materials were selected exactly in line with this principle. Light but robust parts contribute to the long lifespan of the car. Components that are subjected to significant loads are usually rough and robust. Also the color of the body perfectly conveys the concept of the car. At first glance it seems to be a pure white color, but mica particles have been added to emphasize the shape of the car.
With lattice design we combined both worlds of designers and engineers
Front seats and seat rang 2 (head rests)
The seats are a visionary highlight of the concept. Creating a 3D-printed component of this size was a challenging experiment. TPU materials (Ultrasint® TPU88A) were used to generate complex 3D-printed geometries that are simultaneously very flexible and functional. As a result, the team succeeded in developing a backrest including the headrest that follows the “one material” approach: Many parts in the car interior are made from the same material family. This makes mechanical recycling easier at the end of the product life cycle. At the same time, the 3D printing process ensures low-waste production and a durable material for a long product life cycle. The concept has enhanced this durability by protecting the seats additionally with an elastic waterborne coating (Ultracur3D® Coat F), which withstands all stresses on the substrate. No pretreatment/primer is required, even on smoothed surfaces. Therefore, no need for a further skin of foam or leather. As a result, the complexity of the assemblies is reduced.
Move ahead and go beyond boundaries
Floor and armrest
The Infinergy® E-TPU used for the one-material approach stands out thanks to its long lifespan and performance. In this concept, Infinergy® makes the floor and rear armrest particularly soft yet robust. The material also provides good insulation against sound and vibrations. Surfaces made from Infinergy® can be painted or the base material can be dyed. In the production process, the individual Infinergy® granules are simply stuck together using hot steam. The material’s characteristic structure, with its individual granules, remains visible. The concept also uses a waterborne coating for flexible substrates that provides additional protection against abrasion, UV, chemicals and dirt for an even longer product lifespan. Using NovaCoat-P means that it takes fewer steps to produce a component. This is processed by spray or dip coating. Only one layer of top coating is necessary without primer or chemical pretreatment. This can be applied using manual or automated processes.
Organize your chaos through design inspired by nature
Storage area, floor plug, door handle and audio control panel
Iconic parts of the vehicle’s storage area, as well as the floor plug, door handle and audio control panel, can be made from Elastollan®. This TPU offers excellent haptics and mechanics, superior long-term durability and resistance to weathering. As a thermoplastic, it provides simplicity in application, and can also be shaped freely using the injection molding technique. Instead of a classic glove compartment, the designers have been inspired by nature. The flexible pins on the shelf, in an offset arrangement, allow it to hold a huge variety of items without them becoming dislodged when the car moves. And once again, the “one material” approach is used, making mechanical recycling easily possible at the end of the product life cycle. Elastollan® can also be produced based on the BASF biomass balance approach or ChemCycling™.
Functional integration through metal replacement
Gas pedal, brake pedal, air conditioning outlet
BASF’s engineering plastics support the car’s clever and responsible concept.
Ultramid® polyamides have proven long-term durability in typical automotive conditions without ageing or corrosion. Functional integration – and thereby metal replacement – is a strong argument in favor of this material. Moreover, a large number of parts can be replaced with a single component thanks to the injection molding process used. This very robust material – tough, strong and stiff – is proven to last the entire lifespan of a vehicle in many highly demanding applications. (gas pedal)
Ultramid®Structure, a high-performance plastic which is reinforced with long glass fibers, can be used for the brake pedal. In areas where even optimized plastics with short glass-fiber reinforcement reach their limits, Ultramid® Structure offers new opportunities for numerous applications while offering high impact strength and homogeneous surfaces.
Ultradur®(PBT) is suitable for interior applications that require good surface quality. It provides high dimensional stability with good UV resistance. This makes it perfect for the concept’s air conditioning outlet. Functional integration and metal replacement are strong arguments in favor of this material here, too.
And on top of that these engineering plastics can be made using renewable or recycled feedstock. Mechanical recycling at the end of life is possible if the parts can be dismantled.
Robust and simple for unlimited adventure
Roof top, hood, trunk
Jump on it! The user should literally be able to stand on the hood, roof and trunk. It is built to survive all your activities!
Light but robust parts contribute to the long lifespan of the car. Components that are subjected to significant loads are usually rough and robust – not shiny. As such, they are not vulnerable to scratches, making them especially suitable for all kinds of fun.
Elastocoat® seals areas in the manner of a liquid film and provides protection against weathering and UV. Elastoflex® offers long spray times and good adhesion properties. All in all, it is an ideal solution for lightweight composites. When used together, the two products save material and reduce the weight of the car, thus leading to lower energy consumption and an extended range. In addition to the sustainability aspects mentioned above, Elastocoat® and Elastoflex® can also be produced based on the biomass balance approach or ChemCycling™ principle.
A perfect match of color and concept
The color of the body perfectly conveys the concept of the car: Its complexity was reduced to the bare minimum. However, it does not compromise on aesthetics. At first glance it seems to be a pure white color, but mica particles have been added to perfectly emphasize the shape of the car. For all its simplicity, the color thus provides the necessary functionality. Responsibility also played a major role:
The concept car was painted with the latest generation of waterborne coatings. AGILIS® by BASF’s premium refinish brand R-M ® is one of the most eco-friendly automotive refinish coatings in the market thanks to its extremely low volatile organic compound (VOC) values.
Thanks to its advanced productivity, AGILIS® helps body shops increase their performance even further. As an innovative response to current and future challenges, AGILIS® has a new pigment technology and ensures a faster process through easier application with millions of color matches to choose from.
The insider’s secret to reduce NVH (noise, vibration and harshness)
Jounce bumpers made with Cellasto® improve driving comfort by reducing NVH on rough road surfaces, and while braking. With this dynamic material, Cellasto® helps to manage high loads with great efficiency to ensure a smooth, quiet ride and superior vehicle handling. Thanks to its high volume compressibility, Cellasto® can achieve maximum energy absorption in tight spaces with very low lateral expansion, allowing you to save package space and reduce weight by 30% or more. Cellasto® offers protection to the suspension while also ensuring continuous, lifelong performance with excellent abrasion and stress resistance.
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Co-creation: BASF’s material, design and processing expertise
Co-creation is what our hearts beat for. We provide our customers with both material and design expertise and contribute our manufacturing expertise to projects and new developments. The added value we offer lies mostly in the combination of all three areas.
Various BASF facilities are available for our customers: