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UPM recently teamed up with students from the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences to create the Biofore concept car, which showcases how biomaterials can be implemented to make future vehicles more sustainable. By replacing traditional plastic parts with biomaterials such as wood, for example, UPM shows how cars and other industrial applications could rely less heavily on oil-based products.
The Biofore concept looks like a typical concept car, but many of its parts that would normally be made of plastic have been replaced by wood and biocomposite materials. The concept’s passenger compartment floor, door panels and center console are made of UPM Grada thermoformable wood material, while the front bumper, side skirts, dashboard, door panels and interior panels are made from UPM Formi biocomposite that consists of renewable fibers and plastic.
“Sustainability is a major subject globally. We were excited to be able to design and build a vehicle that would demonstrate that already today we have biomaterials that are a real alternative to traditional oil-based materials. During the past four years of building the Biofore Concept Car, our students have come to see that these biomaterials are of high quality, durable and also offer new design opportunities,” says Pekka Hautala, Project Director from Metropolia.
UPM is also showing how a new wood-based fuel can also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, since the concept is powered by a 1.2L diesel engine that runs on wood-based diesel fuel. UPM says that the unique diesel fuel can be used by all diesel engines.
“The Biofore Concept Car showcases the potential of UPM’s biomaterials. Not only for the automotive industry, but also for various other end-uses including design, acoustics – a wide range of industrial and consumer applications. The possibilities are endless,” says Elisa Nilsson, Vice President of Brand and Communications at UPM.