The social, environmental and economic impacts of the automotive industry are part of the motivation for the development of an ingenious and unique electric city car, Uniti.[image_frame style=”framed_shadow” align=”center” alt=”Uniti Electric city car” title=”The social, environmental and economic impacts of the automotive industry are part of the motivation for the development of an ingenious and unique electric city car, Uniti”]https://www.car-engineer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Uniti-electric-car.jpg[/image_frame]
With a philosophy that challenges current business practices, the usage of fossil fuels, and ‘old mechanics’, as well as questioning the entire logic of city mobility, Uniti relies instead on a balance of advanced technology and human-centric design. The global team, headquartered in Sweden, believes Uniti is a serious contender for a much needed disruption in the automotive industry. “It is time for a more futuristic and less destructive driving experience,” says Uniti co-founder Lewis Horne, arguing that current design norms are outdated and excessively ‘plastic’.
Recent events in the automotive industry highlight the need for more openness, transparency and trust, which is why the team has opted to make the design and development process open and patent-free from the beginning. They hope this will encourage additional market entrants, to accelerate the emergence of more sustainable vehicles.[image_frame style=”framed_shadow” align=”center” alt=”Uniti electric car early sketch” title=”The team has opted to make the design and development process open and patent-free from the beginning” height=”641″ width=”650″]https://www.car-engineer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Uniti-electric-car-early-sketch.png[/image_frame]
An intensive study is underway at Lund University to determine the most efficient vehicle configuration, production methods and materials. This in-depth analysis is intended to challenge all assumptions currently restricting city mobility. The prototype under development at Lund University’s ‘ProLab’ is a 15kW electric city car designed for high performance in an urban environment, that is vastly more sustainable not just in terms of energy source, but also of the product itself throughout its life cycle. Uniti will be a two seater vehicle, with one seat behind the other, and a spacious interior with a distinctly ‘sci-fi’ feeling. The materials used, such as hemp and flax fiber biocomposites, will maintain a premium feeling with an organic nature.
The open design and development process for Uniti is unconventional. Instead of starting with the accepted configuration of cars and building from there, the team has opted for a new beginning. This has resulted in a very progressive design, matching contemporary user interaction and the expectations of modern technology enthusiasts.