Uniti’s £13,000 One electric city car, due in late 2020, will be built at an advanced digitised facility in Silverstone
Swedish two-seat EV to be built in the UK
Fledgling Swedish electric car company Uniti will manufacture its One city car in the UK. The Renault Twizy rival is set to be produced at a “pilot plant” that will be completed by 2020 in Silverstone Park, alongside the famous grand prix circuit.
The company is calling the automated facility “the UK’S first fully digitised electric vehicle production site” and it will serve as a template to influence future global production as the company ramps up to its target of 50,000 units per year.
The Uniti One will go on sale in late 2020, priced from just under £13,000. Initially a two-seater, the car’s structure is scalable, with four- and five-seat variants also planned for production. It’s made from recyclable carbonfibre and organic composite materials and the firm claims it produces 75% less CO2 over its lifecycle than a conventional city car.
Weighing just 450kg, it was originally designed as a quadricycle, but it is now classed as an M1 passenger car and must pass the usual crash safety tests. It’s powered by two electric motors, producing 40bhp, and a 22kwh battery, offering a range of up to 186 miles. A 0-50mph time of less than four seconds is targeted, as is an 80mph top speed.
A full-width head-up display features inside and the controls are operated through an electronic interface rather than with conventional switchgear.
Uniti CEO Lewis Horne said the UK’S approach to vehicle production “with its focus on light-weighting and innovation in advanced materials, is an ideal model for electric car production globally”.
Horne added: “It’s no secret that some of the world’s best vehicle engineers are clustered around Silverstone. When coupled with a government receptive to our ambition and goals, we couldn’t find a better home to establish our pilot production facility.”
The pilot plant will create around 150 jobs initially, not including the numerous partners supporting the production eco system. Many of the roles will be focused on quality control at the end of the automated line.
Uniti will also establish a London office to help raise capital, with the aim of becoming a “major player” in the British EV market.
Future proposed sites include Mexico, Australia, the US, India and Dubai, each operated on a franchise model.
Deposits of €149 (£132) are being taken and 3000 orders have already been placed. Uniti is also working with energy suppliers such as E.ON, which is offering its customers five years’ worth of free energy to charge a Uniti at home.
Two-seater has a 186-mile range