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Uniti (automobile)

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Uniti Sweden AB
Uniti
Company typePublic company
IndustryElectric car
FoundedJanuary 1, 2016; 8 years ago (2016-01-01)
FounderLewis Horne
DefunctApril 1, 2022 (2022-04-01)
FateBankrupted
HeadquartersTellusgatan 13, ,
ProductsUniti car
Number of employees
7 employees
Websitehttp://www.uniticars.com

Uniti was an electric vehicle prototype by Uniti Sweden, a Swedish automotive startup. The company was founded in January 2016 by a team of students and engineers under CEO Lewis Horne which aimed at developing an electric microcar in Lund, Sweden. It filed for bankruptcy in April 2022.[1] No products were ever delivered to customers.[2]

Uniti started as an open innovation project at Lund University and became an independent startup in January 2016. The company focused on delivering a climate neutral lightweight electric microcar with high-end digital features.[3]

European Commissioner Günther Oettinger driving a Uniti car simulator with a simulated steer-by-wire system[4] and augmented reality HUD at CeBIT 2016

The company was initially funded through a series of crowdfunding campaigns,[5] angel investors and institutional investors. The company had over 3000 investors from 40 countries. The company also conducted vehicle pre-order campaigns at Media Markt locations in Stockholm and Malmö, with VR test-drives available.[6]

Uniti One[edit]

Uniti publicly exhibited the one-piece cockpit concept, called Kepler Pod, for the first time during the 2016 CeBit event.[7] The cockpit has been coupled with a virtual reality system to showcase the head-up display technology which was planned to be featured in the car. Different exterior design concepts have been displayed during early 2017.[8][9]

Initially, the two-seater vehicle was designed to comply with the regulatory vehicle category of 450 kg heavy quadricycles (L7e),[10] such as the Renault Twizy.

German industrial conglomerate Siemens has entered into a partnership with the group in 2017 to produce their Uniti two-seater electric car. The partners were planning to design a fully automated Industry 4.0 facility in Malmö, Sweden, to produce as many as 50,000 cars a year beginning in 2018. They were also considering a production facility in Adelaide, Australia, for distribution into the Asian market.[11]

The company in February 2018 showcased a two-seater at the Auto Expo in Greater Noida, India. They announced a partnership with the Delhi-based Bird Group to bring a five-seater car to the Indian market by 2020.[12][13] The company published a video of the prototype in May 2018.[14]

Uniti switched course from its Siemens partnership plans, and announced in late October 2018 plans to open its European pilot production plant at a business park in Silverstone, England, with 2-seaters expected in production by late 2019 or early 2020, followed a few months later by 4- and 5-seat versions.[15][16]

In 2019, the specifications for the first production vehicle were announced, and orders were opened via the website, requiring a 50% deposit. It was a 3-seater, and planned to be produced in Norwich.[17]

Uniti Zero[edit]

In 2021, a new prototype was shown to investors, making use of the existing Chinese made Zhidou D3 with some minor cosmetic alterations. The Zhidou was manufactured by Geely and had been subsequently discontinued. Further investment was not forthcoming and the car never reached production.[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Uniti files for insolvency". Elective.com. 11 April 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  2. ^ "Swedish EV startup Uniti goes bankrupt", autovista24, 14 April 2022
  3. ^ Schlichter, Alexander (2016-10-11). "Uniti – Reinvent the automobile". Wundering.
  4. ^ "Uniti Sweden: the diversity behind the electric car of the future", Euronews, April 8, 2017
  5. ^ "Svenska elbilen som blev en crowdfunding-succé – 5 miljoner på två dagar". Veckans affärer. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  6. ^ Carlström, Vilhelm (2018-02-01). "This revolutionary Swedish-built electric car will hit the road in 2019 – here's a sneak peek". nordic.businessinsider.com. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  7. ^ "Uniti: Winziges umweltfreundliches Elektroauto auf der CeBIT". computerbild.de (in German). Retrieved 2016-05-31.
  8. ^ "Uniti Design private event". www.facebook.com/teamuniti. April 29, 2017.
  9. ^ "An Affordable, Futuristic Electric Car Will Finally Hit the Streets in 2017". Futurism. 2016-10-12. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
  10. ^ Johan Reerslev (2018), "Development of glass canopy for urban electric vehicle", Uniti, Lund University
  11. ^ "Siemens Partners With Swedish Electric Car Developer Uniti". cleantechnica.com. 18 March 2017. Retrieved 2017-05-22.
  12. ^ Mukherjee, Sharmistha (2018-02-08). "Auto Expo 2018: Sweden's Uniti hopes to launch affordable E-car by 2020 in India". The Economic Times. ISSN 0013-0389. Retrieved 2023-08-01.
  13. ^ "Swedish startup Uniti ties up with Bird Group to roll out electric car in India". Business Today. 2018-02-09. Retrieved 2023-08-01.
  14. ^ Fred Lambert (May 16, 2018), "Crowdfunded-electric car startup Uniti unveils working prototype", electrek.co
  15. ^ Winton, Neil (2018-10-24). "Sweden's Uniti Shifting Initial Production Of Its Two-Seat EVs To Britain". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  16. ^ Kane, Mark (2018-10-27). "Uniti One Electric Car To Enter Production In 2020". insideevs.com. Retrieved 2018-10-30.
  17. ^ "Uniti founders club launch". uniti UK.
  18. ^ "Swedish car start-up passed off rebadged Chinese EV as its new 'model Zero'". The Local. 19 January 2022. Retrieved 24 May 2023.

External links[edit]