Background: Back in 2008 the Th!nk City city car was announced in Geneva. An electric city car. From a Norwegian company. Built by Valmet in Finland. There was even a factory in Elkhart, Indiana for a while. The lithium-ion batteries were provided by EnerDel.
By 2012, the electric vehicle company went bankrupt. (EnerDel still exists)
Now: A Swedish company, Uniti, has announced that its city car, the Uniti One is open for deposits. If you live in Sweden or the UK.
What it is: This is a three-seater. Central seat for the driver. A bench seat in the back for two. Or if you prefer to carry 760 liters worth of cargo, fold the seat back down.
It comes standard with a 12-kWh lithium ion battery, optionally with a 24-kWh power pack. That means either 150 or 300 km range. It has a 50-kW permanent magnet motor that provides a top speed of 120 km/h.
The Uniti One is small: length 3222 mm, width 1709 mm, height 1505 mm, wheelbase 2175 mm.
It has an aluminum- carbon fiber-intensive structure.
It has a curb weight (or as this is a Euro vehicle, “kerb weight”) of 600 kg.
The future: Deliveries are set to occur in mid-2020.
According to Uniti CEO Lewis Horne there will be new software features occurring over time for the “climate neutral, digital-first” vehicle. Some of those upgrades will come with a price.
But those who place a deposit of 50% (the starting MSRP is 17,767) before the end of November will be in the “Founders Club” and “receive all future software applications, updates and enhancements completely free of charge for life.”
Thought: Maybe EVs are more acceptable now, because looking back at the four year run of Th!nk, that “for life” could conceivably be not all that long.
Hyundai enters the American market with a new parallel hybrid system that uses lithium-polymer batteries and the same six-speed automatic found in non-hybrid versions of the 2011 Sonata.
Panasonic Corp. has a suspended a Canadian supplier of cobalt used to make batteries for Tesla electric cars because the metal was mined in Cuba and may be subject to U.S. sanctions.
During a recent meeting we attended held by Robert Bosch in its North American headquarters in Farmington Hills, we learned about a variety of initiatives related to such things as Industry 4.0 and advances in automotive technology for automated solutions.