Swedish Electric Car Startup Offers 5 Years of Free Solar Charging to Owners

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©. UNITI Sweden AB

The Uniti electric city car will come bundled with a green charging incentive for buyers in Sweden.

Last year, the Swedish electric vehicle startup Uniti successfully raised about $1.5 million in equity crowdfunding to help bring its minimalist city car, which it called "the most deliberate reinvention of the automobile in modern times," closer to production. The Uniti vehicle, which features a lightweight carbon fiber body and "organic composite" interior, is said to be "optimised for high performance and agility in urban environments," and to emit "75% less carbon than mainstream electric cars" over its entire lifecycle.

This week, the company will debut the results of its work when it reveals the two-seater model at a launch event at its facility in Landskrona, Sweden, as well as at two MediaMarkt consumer electronic store locations. And it's offering a unique purchase incentive, in the form of free solar charging for 5 years, which the company feels is an important component of the sustainability of electric transport. However, Uniti isn't supplying solar electric charging facilities to buyers of its car, but is instead partnering with the utility E.ON to allocate electricity "from solar reserves" to its customers to offset home charging for that first five years.

According to the Uniti website, the price for one of these little city cars starts at about €14,900 (~US$17,500), and the company has already received close to 1000 "pre-orders" so far, with people putting down a refundable deposit of €149 to hold their place in line to get access to next year's launch of the configurator. This online tool will allow interested buyers to choose the model and specific options they want, as well as select their preferred service package and explore delivery options. The production facility is expected to be up and running in Landskrona, Sweden, sometime around then, with estimated delivery dates for purchased vehicles beginning in mid-2019.

The car is being touted as a "smartphone car," and appropriately enough, will be available through consumer electronics retailers, with Uniti CEO Lewis Horne saying, “Our vehicles belong beside flagship smartphones and premium home electronics. MediaMarkt Sweden is part of the leading consumer electronics retailer in Europe, so this partnership made a lot of sense."

According to the pre-order page, the target specs on the Uniti, which will be available in 2, 4, and 5-seater models, are:

- Up to 300km range (22kWh battery)
- Auxiliary battery to charge anywhere (30km top up)
- Home fast charging (AC) 3hrs 10mins = full charge
- DC charging 200km range in 30mins
- 0-80kmph in 3.5 seconds in sports mode (top speed up to 130kmph)

The launch of the Uniti will be livestreamed tomorrow (December 7th, 2017) on its YouTube channel.