Swedish student startup gets deal to build electric cars

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A group of university students from Sweden have raised 1.2 million euros in crowdfunding for their new startup called Uniti Sweden to build electric cars.

In the process the students have caught the attention of the German industrial giant, Siemens.

The Swedish students said they had brokered a deal with Siemens and that the partnership will see them create 50,000 lightweight city cars a year starting next year.

The twin-seat 15kW engined cars are called L7e and they have a maximum speed of 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour. Weighing 400 kilograms (880 pounds), they have a 150 kilometer (93 miles) range.

The new electric cars are made from sustainable composite materials and they will be unveiled in late 2017, with first deliveries planned for early 2019.

The new company has a target price of 200,000 kronor (€26,905) " the price for an electric Smart Car in Sweden is at least 210,000 kronor (€28,250).

The interesting aspect to the design of the car is that the vehicle's steering system resembles a Wii controller more than a traditional car's steering wheel.

Lewis Horne, the CEO of the startup says the deal gives his company "the opportunity to not only develop a sustainable car, but also manufacture it in a sustainable way at a large scale."

Ola Janson of Siemens Industry Software said he was "really looking forward to having that partnership" between "Siemens as the very old, stable company, yet still innovative" and Uniti Sweden made up of "young people, innovative people, (who) don't have the legacy, don't have the limits like myself."

The auto and tech industries are frantic to develop and deploy new autonomous electric vehicle technologies and so Siemens have seen an advantage of partnering with the small Swedish start-up.

Automakers are seeking to build more ecological cars, more autonomous driving systems and even fully self-driving vehicles.

There has been many small start-up success stories in the autonomous EV sector and there are a lot more companies trying to break in right now.

Some of these new companies will succeed and some won't as making a car, especially an autonomous electric car is a very difficult thing to achieve and further to that, getting a car certified worldwide is even harder.


Justin Kavanagh
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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