When you think of Swedish cars you may picture a Saab or maybe a safe, boxy Volvo. Maybe some of you may imagine a Koenigsegg with a place among the world’s fastest production cars. Now a new electric start-up wants you to think of something else.
Uniti has taken the wraps of the One and announced UK pricing for the little EV of just £15,100 after incentives. Designed “from the ground up to be an urban electric vehicle” this little car does have one thing in common with a couple of British built hypercars. The driver sits in the centre with two passengers behind them, just like the legendary McLaren F1 (and upcoming Speedtail). In the McLarens it gave a race car feel, hence the name of the F1. But one benefit it gives this little car is for anyone travelling to the continent; you will always be on the correct side of the car (or the wrong side depending on how you see it).
The bigger battery model offers 300km (about 188 miles) of range which may not seem like much in the era of Teslas. But remember that even the cheapest Tesla Model 3 costs over £30,000, more than double the price of the Uniti. And while a Tesla Model 3 weighs around 1.7 metric tons, the Uniti tips the scales at just 600kg. That makes a Lotus look like a Range Rover.
Its performance may not be on the same level as a Fiesta or a Golf but it will leave a G-Wiz trailing in its dust, though that’s not saying much. 0-100 km/h (62mph) happens in just under 10 seconds and the top speed is 120km/h or 75mph. Just enough to get on a motorway.
The Uniti is a weird little car that, despite its shortcomings, meets the needs of a great deal of us. It’s easy to mock, and its too early to tell whether it will succeed or not. But a car is an expensive asset and new, unknown brands have an uphill battle to convince you that their new, unproven product is a better investment than a Toyota or a Vauxhall.
And we seem to still be at the point where most people buying electric cars are buying it because it’s an electric car and not in comparison to something else.
But this is an interesting and quirky little car, one that takes a different approach to a century old problem. And the world definitely needs a little more quirk in it. And it brings battery power to a mass market audience, though it is a bit of a niche product, not least because it’s a brand that nobody has ever heard of.