Uniti One Electric Car To Enter Production In 2020

OCT 27 2018 BY MARK KANE 38

Uniti One – “Designed in Sweden, built for the world”

New company – Uniti Sweden AB – is developing an all-new electric two-seater Uniti One, which reminds us a little of the Commuter Cars – Tango EV from the past (Wiki).

The Uniti One is envisioned as an affordable city EV, priced from €14,900 (£12,980 / $17,000) with a range of 240 km (149 miles).

Production is expected to begin in 2020 in a “pilot production plant” at Silverstone Park, UK. The site is expected to serve as a template for franchise production model, with many production sites in various countries. Uniti spreads a vision of 50,000 units produced annually in the future.

The production model is to be unveiled in late 2019. Deliveries of pre-ordered cars in northern Europe should begin shortly thereafter.

Pre-orders require €149 deposits and according to Autocar, some 3,000 were already placed.

“Uniti plans to unveil its production models in late 2019 and deliver vehicles to pre-order customers throughout northern Europe shortly thereafter. As the UK represents a key market, the Swedish carmaker has recently announced a limited equity crowdfunding campaign through UK-based Crowdcube to give British investors an opportunity to own shares in the company.”

Uniti One target specifications:

  • 240 km (149 miles) of range
  • top speed: 130 km/h (81 mph)
  • Rear wheel drive, Dual motors output of 120 kW
  • 26 kWh battery pack, DC fast charging
  • 25 min from 20-80% on standard charge
  • 450 kg of curb weight, 900 kg gross weight
Uniti One
8 photos
Uniti One Uniti One Uniti One Uniti One Uniti One Uniti One Uniti One

Bonus: Tango EV

Press blast

Uniti to create the first fully digitalised EV production site in the UK

Uniti Sweden has announced plans to establish an electric vehicle “pilot production plant” at Silverstone Park, the home of the British Grand Prix. The facility will be used to produce the Uniti One electric car, while serving as a blueprint for globally licensed “digital” assembly plants throughout the world. The initiative aligns with the UK’s industrial strategy to lead the world in zero emission and autonomous vehicle technologies. Uniti anticipates this Industry 4.0 pilot facility to be operational by 2020, leading the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.

“The UK’s approach to vehicle production, with its focus on light-weighting and innovation in advanced materials, is an ideal model for electric car production globally,” says Uniti CEO, Lewis Horne. “It’s no secret that some of the world’s best vehicle engineers are clustered around Silverstone. When coupled with a government receptive to our ambition and goals, we couldn’t find a better home to establish our pilot production facility.”

Uniti has been working with MEPC at Silverstone Park to develop a vision for the pilot plant, with further details to be announced soon. This is the first of several planned initiatives for Uniti to establish itself in the United Kingdom, working towards a goal of becoming a major player in the UK’s EV market over the next few years. To date, the Swedish carmaker has already engaged a team of engineers at an R&D centre in Northamptonshire while fostering partnerships with local companies such as KW Special Projects (Light-Weight Structure and Additive Manufacturing), Danecca (EV Powertrain), and Unipart (Global Supply Chain). Concurrent to Uniti’s engineering activities in Silverstone, the company is setting up an office in London to ensure capital is raised for UK operations on a timescale meaningful to their plans.

“The future of Great Britain is electric and autonomous,” says Sally Povolotsky, Uniti’s Vehicle Development Director. “Through my work with Silverstone Technology Cluster ACES, I can attest this is an exciting time for the UK automotive industry, and one of rapid growth and innovation. Once the Uniti pilot plant facility is fully operational, we can take this blueprint global.“

Uniti plans to unveil its production models in late 2019 and deliver vehicles to pre-order customers throughout northern Europe shortly thereafter. As the UK represents a key market, the Swedish carmaker has recently announced a limited equity crowdfunding campaign through UK-based Crowdcube to give British investors an opportunity to own shares in the company.

Source: Uniti, Autocar

Categories: General


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38 Comments on "Uniti One Electric Car To Enter Production In 2020"

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Do Not Read Between The Lines

As battery prices come down, the cost of electric quirk might drop enough to make stuff like this work.

Unlikely. None of these small outfits are going to have sufficient purchasing power to keep their component costs down. A franchise model for car production is downright idiotic because it lowers overall volumes. This isn’t a fast-food restaurant.
The other big issue is service… How does a small company maintain a network of trained service centers at low volumes, or a reasonable spare parts inventory>

Lots of talk about this being a world car but no mention of the Americas. Sad!

It is supposed to be built on a franchise model. In other words, a company can license production rights in their country. So for the Uniti to come to the United States, a US-based company would need to be willing to build and distribute it there.

It doesn’t look like the kind of car that would do all that well in the Americas – north or south.

It has a chance in S but it’s a nonstarter in N.

Uniti CEO is no fool to know how NA market is important for this car. All markets are, this is no Bentley they’re selling. He says the car will have a US launch next year, you can order one now and it’ll ship.

Maybe it would work for some of the Americas, but I have doubts that it would pass NHTSA’s compliance crash tests; so it seems unlikely to come to the USA.

And what is up with the iPad — or iPad-like screen — on the steering wheel?
There needs to be an airbag there, under a steering wheel hub cover.

A 3-wheeler like this would come under the motorcycle safety regulations, much easier to pass the crash testing.

No, the reason this won’t sell in the USA is because microcars have never sold in significant numbers. It’s entirely contrary to the American “bigger is better” car culture, which is often rationalized as “I want a bigger, heavier car because it’s safer in an accident.”

It doesn’t look like a three wheeler to me.

Oops! My bad… you’re correct.

This might actually become my future car. I’m tentatively aiming at 2021/2022 for a new car purchase, and so far, this is the most compelling offer I’ve seen. Since I pretty much only need a car for commuting, being afordable and easy to park are the main criteria.

Do you need a car at all? An electric scooter (e.g., Vespa type, not the fording tiny wheels type (-: ) or electric bicycle not relevant?

My daily commute is 2x30km highway, this would be very inconvenient with a scooter. In fact, I’m not sure if scooters are even allowed on the highway unless they can manage at least 80km/h, for which it would have to be a full-on motorcycle. As an allergic who battles pollen every April and May, I definitely prefer the closed cabin. Also, weather. I don’t like coming out of the office to discover my seat sopping wet in the pouring rain, or iced over; I don’t fancy driving in those conditions either, with nothing but a droplet-covered helmet to protect me. A car, on the other hand, would await me with a dry, pre-climatised interior. And it has windshield wipers! Shopping for groceries is also a factor – it’s quite hard to haul things like beverage crates with a scooter. This car also gives me the opportunity to take another person with me, in the rare instances where it’s relevant (happens about 4-5 times a year currently). Finally, the statistical rate of injury is vastly higher on two wheels than it is on four, especially when you look at highway driving. It seems to me that the scooter only has one… Read more »

To be fair, a two-wheeler should also have significantly lower energy consumption, both in manufacture and in use…

Agree on all the downsides, though.

I got 16.0 kWh/100km with a test drive Zoe on my commuting route the other day, realworld measured. The Uniti One has less than half the mass of ther Zoe, so it takes less energy to accelerate, and a much smaller aerodynamic profile, so it takes less energy to keep at speed on the highway. I’d be surprised if it took as much as 10 kWh/100km to do my usual route.

At this point, I don’t think pulling up energy use as a point of criticism is fair. I mean, what do you want from me, apart from picking literally the single most frugal option with a closed cabin on the entire market in the next five years? I could offer to switch my smartphone for a model with half an inch smaller screen size in order to save the planet, if that helps? =P

One can always get “holier than thou” when it comes to being “green”. Hyundai Ioniq Electric drivers can look down their noses at Tesla drivers. Twizy drivers can sneer at Ioniq Electric drivers. EV scooter riders can feel superior to Twizy drivers, and e-bike riders can bask in the smug glow of snootiness toward scooter riders.

Those living at the stone-age level of primitive hunter-gatherers, such as one of the few remaining tribes in Papua New Guinea, could feel superior to all of them… if they weren’t too busy trying to find enough food to feed themselves and their families from day to day.

There is no way the Earth could support 7 billion hunter-gatherers… So that attitude is not really a valid option 🙂

I’m not asking anything from you… I’m just pointing out one clear advantage of two-wheelers. With all the downsides you listed, don’t you think it’s fair to acknowledge the benefits as well? 🙂

(Other major benefits are lower space usage — both on the road on while parked — and more convenient charging.)

I’m not denying that two-wheelers have a lot of downsides. But saying that price is the only advantage is not fair at all.

I see this EV, so horrible and small, and i ‘m so proud and happy to drive my Renault Fluence ZE since five years ago. I bought it with 1 year and 7500km, (demo car) for only 6000€, becouse nobody want it i dont know why. Renault stop manufacturing Fluence ze in 2013. Yesterday i get new rented LG battery in my Fluence ZE, 21kwh usable (26 real) and now i could drive 200km in one charge if i want to.
6000€+5000£(5 years battery hire)=11000€
0€ fuel and 400€ in electricity. I’m so happy, its like new car and much better and confortable than this Unity micro car. Cheaper too.

Yep, it’s a bit too expensive. You would think a 26kWh pack doesn’t cost that much these days.

That sounds very different from what you were posting *before* you finally got that battery replacement… 😉

The name is bit unfortunate. I mean someone saying want to see my Unit? It’s not something most people want to hear.
As far as the car goes, I wish them all the best.

Interesting machine. Small, short wheelbase electrics make a lot of sense for urban commuting and general runabout-like handing. If one doesn’t wait till 2020, the new Smart fortwo electrics offer similar performance. The range isn’t the greatest in the world, but manageable if the majority of commutes are under 100 miles.

I considered the Smart ForTwo myself, but there’s a huge problem with it: the electric version has literally a 100% markup over the gasoline version. 22600 versus 11600 in MSRP here where I live. And for those 22600, you get the same chintzy, entry-level interior that the gas variant comes with. The battery size of 17.6 kWh shouldn’t account for even half the price difference; in fact, some other manufacturers would sell packs of that size for less than a third the markup Daimler is asking here. It’s a downright catastrophe in the price-performance department.

Also, I don’t think “similar performance” is fair. Range aside, the Uniti One weighs 900kg and has 120kW motor power. The Smart ForTwo EQ weighs 1150kg and has 60kW motor power. That’s not a small difference – that’s more than twice the power-to-weight ratio! That little thing is going to be one crazy pocket rocket.

Actually, the Unity weighs just 450 kg according to the specs in the article? 900 kg is the gross weight, i.e. with maximum load…

It looks like the Apple design team got into the Smart factory for a bit and made something. Let’s hope they didn’t call it Titan.
Those robots won’t be cheap to buy. Unless they have cost projection models appealing to a franchisee, I see this as great on the whiteboard, rough on paper.

While I’d love to see a microcar like this go into production, their business plan is entirely unrealistic. It’s possible (altho difficult) to achieve success putting a light industry product into limited production with a crowdfunding, but it’s simply not possible to do this for a heavy industry product like an automobile. Not even a very small automobile.

Also, they are very obviously not aiming to market this in the USA. If they did, they’d have to add external side mirrors. But then, microcars have never sold well in the USA, so ignoring that market is probably wise.

It’s entirely possible that the production version might have side mirrors. This is an engineering validation prototype, after all, and prototypes and concept vehicles often skimp on mirrors because it looks futuristic. The production version won’t be revealed until late 2019.

As i was in the Nordics last year around their U17 event, i visited this and put down a small refundable deposit (not interested in the 2-seater however, only in the 4 seater as a small 2nd car which is electric and should allow to perform all things we currently do with our 2nd car). It is an interesting concept but i assume still many hurdles to overcome before they are on the road.
I wish them the best of luck on the rest of the journey !

Looks very similar to the microlino

Real-world range is probably less than the posted figures? Still sounds plenty for a city car — but given the size, weight, and shape, I would expect that to be achievable with a smaller battery…

The price is not outrageous, but still seems a little steep for a tiny city car. It should have great performance — but how much do people value that in this sort of vehicle? While the Smart proves that there is *some* market for a somewhat premium city car, it’s a fairly small niche…

The posted figures are aspirational. The production version of the car doesn’t exist yet, and it has never gone through any standardized driving cycle. In fact, I doubt this prototype even goes fast enough to pull one off. They think they can get “240 km range” out of a battery that size in the final design, but how do they define range? No idea. I wouldn’t put stock into the number until I see a proper WLTP run of the production design.

That said, look at the Renault Zoe with its base 22 kWh pack. The Uniti One weighs less than half as much, has much less drag, and has a slightly larger battery. It should beat the basic Zoe’s realworld range (~150km) by a fair margin. 240km is not that unrealistic for a mixed cycle. Pure highway will be less… unless they pull off some of that same voodoo that Hyundai put into the Ioniq’s crazy efficient drivetrain.

No voodoo needed; just a small size (for small frontal area) plus a fixed gear ratio in the drivetrain which gives the car conspicuously poor acceleration (for a BEV) but superior energy efficiency.

This Uniti should easily beat the Ioniq Electric for the smaller frontal area.

With the exception of a few obscure sports cars, *all* EVs have a fixed gear ratio…

That was kinda my point: given the weight, size, and shape, it should have *way* more range than the Zoe with similar battery size. (Or the Ioniq with a somewhat larger one, for that matter.) Even if they could match the aspirational figure, that would still seem somewhat disappointing in terms of power train efficiency IMHO…

OMG that is an fugly car. Going to knock the Cube off the pedestal of worlds fulgliest car.

Trouble is, the deposit function doesn’t work. At least I won’t lose money like with Elio. Unless they charged me three times.