Uniti Sweden to apply 3D printing in landmark British electric vehicle production plant

By combining a digital supply chain and additive manufacturing, Uniti Sweden is a startup seeking to change the way we make cars.

This month, the startup announced plans to launch a pilot production plant for its electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK. Based at Silverstone Park, adjacent to the British Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit, the plant is strategically located to harness some of the top minds in British automotive engineering. With a focus on digitization, the facility is also tipped to be the first of its kind in the country.

Lewis Horne, CEO of Uniti, comments:

“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,”

“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.”

Making the Uniti One

Uniti was founded in 2015 from an innovation project at Lund University. Its mission, according to the company’s website, is to “make the best cars for the world by balancing the needs of society with an inspired driving experience,”

“Safe & affordable EVs with premium technology and a progressive design — it’s what we do.”

The Uniti One is the company’s first EV prototype and was unveiled in 2017 to an audience of partners reportedly including Siemens, KUKA Robotics, and electric utility provider E.ON.

It is made using composite materials, and is intended for automated, lean manufacturing. The car, and access to exclusive test drive events, can be pre-ordered from the company for a deposit of €149.

The 2017 launch of the Uniti One. Photo via Uniti Sweden
The 2017 launch of the Uniti One. Photo via Uniti Sweden

Engineered at Silverstone

In Silverstone, Uniti has already succeeded in expanding its partners with battery manufacturer Danecca, logistics, supply chain and manufacturing consultancy Unipart, and KW Special Projects (KWSP).

A local engineering consultancy, KWSP’s expertise is in R&D and high-performance/niche vehicle markets. In the past, the company has used additive manufacturing to help restore vintage cars, including a 1927 Amilcar C6 and, most recently, a limited edition Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 sports car for Goodwood Revival.

KWSP’s additive manufacturing and structural light-weighting know-how will be applied to Uniti’s EV development.

At Silverstone Park, Uniti will also have access to the Silverstone Technology Cluster, home to advanced engineering specialists, and additive manufacturing service providers such as Laser Lines and Mackart Additive.

The move to the UK is part of a wider Uniti strategy to become a key figure in the nation’s EV market. The Silverstone production plant will have a counterpart office in London responsible for raising capital and securing operations. The company is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to gain more British investors.

Inside the Uniti One electric vehicle. Photo via Uniti Sweden
Inside the Uniti One electric vehicle. Photo via Uniti Sweden

Inside the Uniti One EV

In addition to smart and low-carbon footprint manufacturing methods, Uniti vehicles will be integrated with automatic braking advanced driver-assistance systems (ADASs), intuitive dashboard controls and cloud connectivity.

Target specifications for the Uniti One are currently:

– 240km range
– 130km/h top speed
– Rear wheel drive
– Two seats
– Dual motors output of 120kW
– 26kWh battery pack, DC fast charging
– 25min from 20-80% on standard charge
– 900kg gross weight

The car must also be, of course, 100% electric powered.

The first production models of the Uniti One are scheduled for launch late 2019.

“The future of Great Britain is electric and autonomous. Through my work with Silverstone Technology Cluster ACES, I can attest this is an exciting time for the UK automotive industry, and one of rapid growth and innovation,” says Sally Povolotsky, Uniti’s Vehicle Development Director.

“Once the Uniti pilot plant facility is fully operational, we can take this blueprint global.”

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Featured image shows the Uniti One electric vehicle. Image via Uniti Sweden