Sweden's Uniti short-range city EV successfully navigates crowdfunding route
Lessening range anxiety is a priority for many electric vehicle manufacturers, but others are steering into the skid with small EVs designed for short-range city driving, such as the Renault Twizy and the Microlino. Joining them is the Swedish startup Uniti, which has just hit its crowdfunding goal to develop a prototype of its own little electric city car by the end of 2017.
First unveiled last year, Uniti claims its car of the same name is the first high-end vehicle under the EU L7e designation, meaning it's technically a heavy quadricycle. Weighing in at 400 kg (882 lb) and chugging away on a 15-kW (20-hp) AC motor, the vehicle will let owners get away with less tax and more lax safety standards.
With its home turf being an urban environment, the Uniti can hit speeds of up to 90 km/h (56 mph) and can go as far as 150 km (93 mi), which trumps both the Twizy and Microlino in terms of range, but clocks it in slightly slower than the Twizy's top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).
Powering the Uniti's motor is an 11-kWh Na-Ion battery, which can be plugged in or charged via induction. Uniti also prides itself on being environmentally responsible, so the car is made largely of sustainable biomaterials.
Underneath its Blade Runner-esque exterior, the cabin is decked out with a strange steering system that resembles Nintendo Wii motion controllers, providing what the company calls "an unusual driving experience," although autonomy is also a goal. It seats two in tandem, and the entire windscreen forms a heads-up display, which the company says opens up (and we quote) "batshit crazy gaming and entertainment options."
Uniti is currently seeking funding on FundedByMe, which operates a little differently to Kickstarter and Indiegogo by offering backers the opportunity to purchase shares in the company. The campaign sailed past its €500,000 (US$560,000) goal within 36 hours, and will continue taking pledges until November 19.
If all goes to plan, the prototype will be completed by late 2017, and the final production car is expected to cost 200,000 kr (US$23,000).
Check out the Uniti campaign video below.