Chinese startup U Power unveiled the country's first skateboard chassis-by-wire ready for mass production on Tuesday, which is expected to greatly fuel the growth of the smart electric vehicle sector.
The product, called UP Super Board, enables the vehicle to control its power, braking, steering and suspension in the digital way. That means carmakers need to only focus on the vehicle cabin in their development.
"It can cut time car development from scratch up to as little as 12 months for new players in the sector," said Li Peng, founder and CEO of the two-year old startup.
It is more than time. As such core parts as batteries are integrated into the skateboard chassis, it saves a lot more space for the cabin than those built based on conventional chassis.
Also digitalized control by wires instead of mechanical connections as widely seen in today's vehicles save carmakers more time in fine tuning the vehicles' performance, according to the startup.
U Power has started two projects based on its UP Super Board, one of them is an electric van.
The van has over 15 percent of cargo space than its rivals but weighs a lot less than them.
Li said orders have been received from both Chinese and overseas companies for the van, which is expected to be delivered later this year.
He said U Power is also partnering with fblife.com, a website for off-roader fans, to tailor vehicles and experiences, for aficionados.
China has the largest market for new energy vehicles and the biggest number of NEV startups.
Up to 9 million NEVs including electric cars and plug-in hybrids are expected to be sold this year in China, up from 6.89 million in 2022, said the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
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