Obviously, it’s an electric car… a compact, some would argue, a micro-electric car for the city. Uniti One is a Swedish automotive startup company developing a pure-electric car for the city. The company was founded by Lewis Horne in 2016, it initially began as a university project that subsequently raised equity via a crowdfunding platform. In total 570 investors raised over £1.1m GBP. Uniti aims to develop a sustainable, lightweight electric vehicle made from composite biomaterials and carbon fibers. The Uniti One is a realisation of various eco philosophies, of which there are many. It is now available to order in the UK with prices starting from £15,100. But a fully functional Uniti One isn’t available just yet.
You might be in for a bit of a wait. Uniti says first deliveries should arrive by mid-2020. We’ll take their word for it. But this is what concerns us. You can not develop a car, any car, with a budget of £1m. If Uniti manages to pull this off then fantastic. But it isn’t going to happen. The online pre-ordering system is another way of raising equity, essentially to test the market reaction.
We have not heard if Uniti has set up any production plant or even begun to engineer the tooling required. Usually, a production plan is announced before the ordering begins. We do know that Uniti has a production agreement with the Swedish industrial conglomerate to manufacture the Uniti One. However…
Uniti announced in 2018 that it will set up a pilot production facility based at the Silverstone Business Park. Yes, that is a business park based on the grounds of the Silverstone Race Circuit. Initially, a two-seater model will be offered followed by a 4-5 seater a few months later.
The Uniti One is powered by a permanent magnet motor that drives the rear wheels, producing an output of 50 kW (68 ps) and 85 Nm of torque. The Uniti One’s standard 12 kWh battery provides 150 km (93 miles) of range from a single charge. 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% in two hours and six minutes with a typical domestic 7 kW charger. With the optional on-board fast charger installed, charging takes 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% (with on-board fast charger), or just nine minutes using a 50 kW CCS unit.
Crowdfunded projects often do not live up to the expectations set by the founders seeking to raise money. They are an inherent risk and often the end product has quality issues. So if you expect the Uniti One to be a game ching micro-urban-city-dwelling EV then we suggest don’t raise your hopes to high.
We do know that Uniti received several thousand pre-orders in after unveiling a two-seater prototype. But that was back in 2017. We’ve seen and read this book before, and the spidey-sense is tingling, something doesn’t feel quite right about the Uniti One. Just sayin. But it’s your money, your decision at the end of the day.