A Chinese startup named U Power made a groundbreaking announcement on Tuesday, unveiling the country’s first-ever skateboard chassis-by-wire that is ready for mass production. The UP Super Board is expected to significantly boost the growth of the smart electric vehicle industry. The product enables a vehicle to control its power, braking, steering, and suspension digitally. As a result, carmakers will only need to focus on the vehicle cabin during development.
Founder and CEO of the startup, Li Peng, said, “It can cut car development time from scratch up to as little as 12 months for new players in the sector.” With batteries integrated into the skateboard chassis, the product saves a lot more space for the cabin than conventional chassis, making it an attractive option for carmakers.
Additionally, the digitalized control by wires instead of mechanical connections saves carmakers more time in fine-tuning the vehicles’ performance, according to the startup.
U Power has already initiated two projects based on its UP Super Board, one of which is an electric van. This van has over 15 percent of cargo space compared to its rivals while weighing a lot less than them. Li revealed that the company has already received orders for the van from both Chinese and overseas companies, with deliveries expected later this year.
Furthermore, U Power has partnered with fblife.com, a website for off-roader fans, to create tailor-made vehicles and experiences for aficionados.
China currently boasts the largest market for new energy vehicles and the highest number of NEV startups. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, up to 9 million NEVs, including electric cars and plug-in hybrids, are expected to be sold in China this year, up from 6.89 million in 2022. With the launch of UP Super Board, the smart electric vehicle sector is expected to grow exponentially in the country.