HELSINKI, FINLAND -- Thermoformable birch wood material from UPM make up significant interior parts of the Biofore Concept Car, which was designed and created by students from the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

The Biofore Concept Car debuted in March at the 2014 Geneva International Motor Show. Key features include the passenger compartment floor, center console, display panel cover and door panels, all of which are manufactured from UPM Grada, a thermoformable wood material made with rotary cut birch veneers.

The ability to bend and form wood materials while retaining its strength is highly desirable in fine woodworking. Grada technology refreshes the concept of forming wood with heat and pressure, opening up new opportunities in design, according to UPM.

Metropolia students also designed the Biofore car to run on IUPM's wood-based renewable diesel fuel -- BioVerno. Because of biomaterials used in the creation of this car, including UPM's Formi plastic biocomposite for exterior and interior parts, the car is approximately 330 pounds lighter than other vehicles, resulting in lower fuel consumption.

“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," said Pekka Hautala, Project Director from Metropolia. "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.”

UPM, with its six business units, manufactures recyclable products from renewable raw materials. Headquarted in Helsinki, Finland, the company employs approximately 21,000 people.

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