Sweden’s Uniti Has $60 million Orders For Electric City Car.
“We are currently assessing a timeline to enter the US market, but cannot confirm anything at this point,”
Electric car sceptics say expensive batteries and range anxiety present a huge obstacle to their success and reckon a cheap, lightweight city car would be the best place to start.
Introducing Swedish start-up Uniti, which says its two-seater little electric car will cost just over $17,000 after taxes in Europe, and now has orders worth over $58 million. The Uniti weighs about 990 lbs. The passenger sits behind the driver. Uniti will launch the car next year and plans a 5-seater by 2020.
The two-seater Uniti One has a claimed range of about 180 miles. The company plans to produce up to 50,000 cars a year.
Uniti CEO Lewis Horne said the electric vehicle, developed as part of a three-year program, is made from recyclable carbon fiber and organic composite materials to reduce its environmental impact. Power comes from a 22 kWh battery and two electric motors producing a combined 40 hp, propelling the car from zero to 50 mph in 3.5 seconds.
There’s a head-up display of vital information and a big Tesla-like computer screen sits on top of the steering controls, which are operated electronically.
The company said customers can reserve a car now for a deposit of 149 euros ($170). Production will be at plant in Malmo, southern Sweden.
“We have a long way to go towards our production model, certification, and the delivery of our first cars, but the commitment the market has already shown for our product and our brand goes a long way to accelerate this process” said Lewis Horne, Uniti CEO, in a statement.
Uniti will offer the car initially to buyers in northern European metro areas with first deliveries planned for late 2019. Additional markets for the vehicle will be added progressively shortly thereafter. Uniti didn’t respond to a question about selling in the U.S.
Uniti’s sales model notably skips the industry-standard dealership network, and instead, will sell directly from its website www.uniti.earth or via partnerships with shops. Servicing will be handled through established retailers throughout Europe.
To allay any range-anxiety fear, the Uniti One comes with an extra small battery which would provide about 20 miles of extra range and could be recharged in a local shop or bar in under an hour.
Uniti didn’t respond to questions about its experience in making cars, or whether it had received a crash test rating from the European authorities.
In a Utube film, Uniti said its ambition is not to be the best in the world, but the best for the world.
In a email response, Uniti said it hopes to have 1 million cars on the road in five years.
“We are currently assessing a timeline to enter the US market, but cannot confirm anything at this point,” Uniti said.
European crash tests haven’t taken place yet.