Swedish start-up Uniti offers UK-engineered EV

Swedish mobility pioneer Uniti, has revealed the pricing and specification for its debut vehicle, the fully-electric Uniti One. Designed in Sweden and engineered in the UK, the Uniti One has been created from the ground-up “to be an urban electric vehicle: fully optimised for efficiency, sustainability and affordability, whilst maximising interior space for three adults.”

Offered with a choice of two battery sizes, the Uniti One has a range of up to 300 km (186 miles), which can be charged from 20 per cent to 80 per cent in just seventeen minutes with a 50 kW CCS charger.

With orders expected to open shortly, customers that place a deposit before the end of November 2019 will secure a place in Uniti’s ‘Founders Club’, entitling them to a host of exclusive benefits, including free software upgrades and enhancements for life.

With prices starting from just £15,100 (after £3,500 UK Government subsidy) the Uniti One is offered initially to buyers in northern Europe and with first deliveries planned in Sweden and the UK for mid-2020.

The Uniti One’s packaging can accommodate up to three adults within its ultra-compact footprint, with space for two adult passengers to sit behind. The battery is situated beneath the floor.

The central driving position gives rear passengers quick and easy access into and out of the cabin, whilst minimising driver disruption.

A split-folding rear seat is fitted as standard, increasing the Uniti One’s flexibility and, with three occupants on-board, the vehicle provides 155 litres of rear cargo capacity. Additional storage space either side of the drivers’ seat provides space for longer packages.

With the rear bench folded flat, and in its maximum load-carrying configuration, the Uniti One turns into a single-seater, providing the driver with a generous 760 litres of usable cargo space.

With an electrochromic panoramic roof as standard, cabin brightness can be controlled as desired, ranging from transparent through to fully opaque, and all within a few seconds.

The roof automatically darkens to prevent the vehicle heating up when parked, which also helps reduce the amount of energy needed to cool the cabin again. The electrochromic glass also acts as virtual sun visor, tinting the top of the windscreen to reduce brightness and glare for the driver. The cabin can be personalised with fully-configurable RGB mood lighting, which subtly accents the roof, dashboard and doors. A digital-first approach has been taken to the Uniti One’s controls, keeping the number of physical switches to a minimum.

The Uniti One leverages the benefits of Android Automotive OS, an integrated system that brings access to Google Maps, Waze, Spotify and dozens of other Play Store apps and services without requiring a dedicated or connected smartphone.

Employing smartphone-style, Over-The-Air (OTA) software updates allows Uniti to improve the car’s safety and performance whilst greatly reducing the time traditionally required for ongoing maintenance. OTA updates also allow for the addition of new features, enhancements and upgrades.

The Uniti One does away with the need for a traditional key or fob, with entry to the car enabled via Uniti’s secure mobile app which incorporates a smart, back-up function – a feature with the potential to unlock additional functionality in the future.

Performance and technical highlights
A permanent magnet motor drives the rear wheels, producing an output of 50 kW (67 bhp) and 63 ft lb of torque. The Uniti One’s standard 12 kWh battery provides 150 km (93 miles) of range from a single charge, while the optional 24 kWh battery extends range to 300 km (186 miles) . A hundred kilometres (62 miles) of range can be added in just ten minutes using a 50 kW CCS charger.

The larger 24 kWh battery can be charged from 20 to 80 per cent in two hours and six minutes with a typical domestic 7 kW charger and the optional on-board fast charger installed, or just seventeen minutes via a 50 kW CCS charging unit. The 12 kWh battery option takes one hour and three minutes to charge from 20% to 80 per cent (with on-board fast charger), or just nine minutes using a 50 kW CCS unit.

The company says the Uniti One’s 8.0 kWh/100km efficiency is achieved through a weight-saving ethos evident throughout the car. A combination of design engineering, appropriate use of materials and innovative manufacturing techniques give the Uniti One a kerb weight of just 600 kg.

The Uniti One accelerates from 0-50 km/h (0-31 mph) in 4.1 seconds and 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 9.9 seconds, before reaching its top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph), where permitted and conditions allow.

The Uniti One features two selectable driving modes which adapt the car’s characteristics to suit the conditions or driver mood. City mode optimises the car for energy efficiency, providing a smooth and relaxed drive, whereas selecting Boost mode sharpens the accelerator response and adds a little weight to the steering for a more dynamic feel.

Fully-connected customer service
Uniti says its customer service has been specifically designed around the driver, using technology to facilitate a customer-direct relationship, maximising speed of response and convenience.

Skipping the industry-standard dealership network, Uniti engages with its customers directly via its website. The company says that most software functions can be updated or enhanced remotely thanks to Uniti One’s Over-The-Air connectivity, which also greatly reduces diagnostic time.

Routine service inspections will be conducted by a dedicated, European-wide network of mobile technicians, at a convenient time and location for the customer.

The Uniti One is offered with a comprehensive 60,000 mile or three-year warranty and the battery and electric driveline are each covered by a five-year or 60,000 miles warranty. The Uniti One is also covered by an extensive twelve-year anti-perforation warranty and a two-year, 24-hour UK and European breakdown package is provided as standard.

Designed in Sweden, engineered in the UK, built for the world

Uniti was established in 2015 as an open innovation research project at Lund University, Sweden, with the aim of better understanding the societal and environmental impact of modern cars.

Uniti has undertaken a series of crowd-funding campaigns, which acted as mechanisms to build a community around the team’s vision, and provide the investment needed to kick-start the company’s sustainable business plan.

Uniti revealed a two-seater prototype vehicle in 2017 and the several thousand pre-orders that followed confirmed that there was not only a strong demand for the product.

Operating from the company’s headquarters in Lund, Sweden, Uniti’s team of product designers have “skilfully merged cutting-edge digital technology with space-efficient design to create a smart and adaptable urban EV with a style and quality that is unmistakably Swedish”. Uniti’s vehicle development, engineering and production hub is in Norfolk, England.

As the company grows and enters additional markets, Uniti plans to establish local assembly plants which use digital technology to build cars at point of demand, reducing the cost, time and environmental impact of transporting materials and vehicles globally.

Uniti CEO, Lewis Horne commented: “This is just the start of our journey towards a more sustainable future. I’m immensely proud of what the team has achieved by bringing this innovative vehicle to market in such a short time. But it’s not enough to merely challenge convention. Our goal for the Uniti One is for it to become a catalyst for positive change in our industry and I’m delighted at the way in which this vision has so clearly resonated with people across the globe.”

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