Fully Automated Composite Car Factory Coming to Sweden
Ian Wright posted on March 20, 2017 | 2426 views
(Image courtesy of Uniti.)
(Image courtesy of Uniti.)
The automotive start-up paradigm is shifting into high gear.

Tesla may have started the race to dominate the electric vehicle (EV) market, but some recent bumps in the road have many wondering whether the Model 3 will make it to the finish line by 2018.

Still, with the emergence of so many other EV start-ups—such as Faraday Future, NextEV and ELEXTRA, to name a few—Elon Musk can at least take credit for waving the green flag, even if someone else will end up taking the chequered one.

The latest challenger is Swedish start-up, Uniti, which recently announced that its fully automated car production facility will be built in Sweden, in a partnership with Siemens.

Uniti Tech Specs

The Uniti EV is a heavy quadricycle (L7e) designed for urban environments. According to the company, the vehicle features two or three seats in tandem, depending on the model, with a premium target price of SEK 200,000kr ($22,628 USD).

(Image courtesy of Uniti.)
(Image courtesy of Uniti.)
Uniti has also released the follow technical specifications:
  • 90 km/h – 120km/h (56mph – 75mph) top speed, depending on model
  • 0- 80 km/h (50mph) < 3.5 seconds
  • 15 kW rated hub motors (40 kW peak)
  • 11 or 20 kWh Li-Ion battery, depending on model
  • 150 km – 300 km (93 mile – 186 mile) range, depending on model
  • 400 kg (882 lbs) weight
  • Induction or plug-in charge
  • Electronic steering system
  • Full-screen augmented reality heads-up display
  • Autonomous driving features
  • Carbon fiber and bio composite body

That last point makes the company’s upcoming factory particularly intriguing. Described as an “Industry 4.0 facility,” the factory will feature an automated composite material production line and automated vehicle assembly, both using KUKA robots.

As a result, the facility will be capable of producing up to 50,000 units per year within its first year of production, according to the company.

Uniti & Siemens Partnership

The Siemens’ software suite enables the entire production process to be planned in a virtual setting before being implemented in the physical world. “Our PLM portfolio has become so perfected including our recent acquisitions that the first vehicle produced on the physical production line can be sold directly to the customer with no test vehicles needed,” explained Mats Friberg, CEO of Siemens PLM Software in the Nordics. 

(Image courtesy of Uniti.)
(Image courtesy of Uniti.)
“The partnership with Siemens is essential to our long-term plans as we now have the opportunity to not only develop a sustainable car, but also manufacture it in a sustainable way at a large scale, faster and with a significantly lower initial capital demand,” said Lewis Horne, CEO of Uniti Sweden. “Our fully-automated production line can basically have the lights turned off for 22 hours a day.”

Uniti moved into a temporary new production facility in Lund, Sweden, for its prototyping phase in the lead up to unveiling the prototype in the fall of 2017, which will occur in the future manufacturing space. The automated production line will commence setup within 18 months to deliver the first vehicles by 2019.

The Swedish start-up will be showcasing its journey from prototyping to mass production in a YouTube series called Uniti Update.

For more information, visit the websites for Siemens and Uniti.

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