Rivian has its own skateboard, now China’s U Power Technology Co., Ltd. has it, too.
U Power released UP skateboard chassis and UP SPACE Super Cabin on January 10. This is the first Chinese company to manufacture chassis. Disruptive changes to car manufacturing is possible, so is lowering of threshold.
Now, a bit background on U Power
- The U Power is an EV startup established in April 2021.
- Initial investment was led by Bosh and Horizon Robotics.
- Registered capital of $30.32 million.
- Founded by Li Peng, the former head of Great Wall’s high-end electric car brand Saloon.
Last October, U Power announced the completion of a Pre-A+ round of funding, led by Boyuan Capital, which is majority-owned by German multinational engineering and technology company Bosch. After the Angel round and Pre-A round of funding, the valuation of U Power is at 1 billion yuan.
Their main product is a skateboard chassis for electric cars. U Power wants to offer this platform to other automakers so that they can build their EVs on skateboard chassis.
How UP Super Chassis works
The separate development of the upper body and the lower chassis changes the logic of automobile manufacturing.
The skateboard chassis integrates the electric motor, all-wheel drive system, battery, steering mechanism and suspension mechanism.
Upon this chassis you can build any upper car body you wish.
Why this design model could work
This approach can reduce manufacturing costs, and shorten the development cycle. Also because there are no parts such as engines that invade the upper body (it’s all hidden inside lower platform), the skateboard chassis can reserve more space for the upper cockpit, which is useful.
It is said the company doesn’t make cars. they want to supply.
U Power already received multiple inquiries
“In the past period of time, even in the past few days, we are negotiating a very large number of intentional partners, which are both traditional car companies, new power car companies, but also technology companies.”Li Peng
But the concerns remain as to whether carmaker will give third party to make skateboard?
Li Peng believes that the ultimate standardized chassis, to create a safe, cost-effective, and configuration differentiated super cabin, so that we can really focus on space and user value of innovation.