Crowdfunded bubble EV charges ahead
A little over 12 months after launching a crowdfunding campaign to develop a new battery electric city car, Sweden's Uniti has unveiled its first two-seater – the appropriately-named One. There's been a range increase, and the top speed has been bumped up. But it was the odd-looking games controller steering system that stole the show at the startup's production facility in Landskrona, Sweden, last night.
The One has the look of an awkward union between a smart car and Google's self-driving prototype. But under that fun-loving skin, the little city car is quite the performer. Uniti is promising a noteworthy 300 km (186 mi) of range per charge of its 22 kWh battery pack, which can be plugged in or charged via induction. To put that in perspective, Nissan's new Leaf has a 40 kWh battery and can roll along for 378 km per charge, while Renault's Twizy city buggy can only manage 100 km.
Uniti has announced that Swedish owners who are also E-On electricity customers will not have to pay for the cost of charging their vehicle at home for 5 years. There'll be a 14 kg (30 lb) auxiliary battery pack in the little city car that can be removed for charging inside the home or office from a standard wall socket, for about 30 km of range.
Though designed for city driving, it will also keep up with the flow at highway speeds – topping out at 130 km/h (80 mph) and sprinting from 0-80 km/h in 3.5 seconds.
Interestingly, Uniti is giving buyers a choice of two steering options. The first is a familiar-looking steering wheel configuration for those with a hankering for some traditional functionality, and the other is a center pivot joystick control system with a tablet-like touchscreen display in the middle.
Drivers will be able to switch on light and turn indicators, and control infotainment, using thumb gestures on the paddles and a rear-view camera feeds live video from behind onto the tablet display. Navigation aids will also be available on the center screen, or projected onto the windscreen using a head-up display.
The Uniti roadmap sees the company planning to offer a line of two, four and five seat premium electric vehicles, and the One is now up for pre-order. Prices start from €14,900 (US$17,500).
Those who smack down their refundable deposit of €149 can look forward to early access to an online Uniti configuration platform, early delivery (the first cars are expected to roll out in 2019) and more. They could also be eligible to join the upcoming beta testing program.
If you happen to be anywhere near Malmö or Stockholm, you could take a closer look by visiting MediaMarkt showrooms. Or head to the gallery for a closer look at the Uniti One.