U Power's chassis-by-wire to slash customization costs of EVs
Shanghai-based automotive startup U Power on Tuesday unveiled China's first mass-producible skateboard chassis-by-wire, which will allow smart electric vehicle customization at a lower cost.
The UP Super Board is positioned as an integrated software and hardware operating system for smart EVs, allowing the vehicle to digitally control its power, braking, steering, and suspension.
This means that carmakers can save money and time by focusing solely on the vehicle cabin during development and production with this skateboard chassis-by-wire.
"The UP Super Board enables automakers to build an advanced smart EV from the ground up in as little as 12 months," said Li Peng, founder and CEO of U Power Technology.
Some overseas skateboard chassis pioneers, such as American electric vehicle companies Rivian and Canoo, appeared to run into various difficulties last year, raising further concerns about the growth and potential of this new industry.
Li said that U Power has developed a Chinese business model for skateboard chassis that will be completely different from the two US firms. China is also the largest market for new-energy vehicles, has the most NEV startups and the most auto parts suppliers of various sizes.
The two-year-old Shanghai-based startup announced plans to begin shipping the UP VAN, the first vehicle product based on the UP Super Board, as early as the end of 2023.
It will be an electric van with 15 percent more cargo space and capacity than other products in the same class, Li said. The company has already received orders from both within China and abroad.
In addition, the company will collaborate with fblife.com, an online community of off-road enthusiasts, to develop a line of electric off-road vehicles.