A majority of smartphones today use a handful of common parts. Most smartphones rely on Samsung for displays, on Sony for camera sensors, and on Qualcomm for chips. The only things that are really different are the outer aesthetic, some of the hardware, and the user experience. Now imagine if cars could do that too. An SUV, a minivan, a sedan, a pickup truck, all powered by the same electric platform. That’s pretty much what Chinese EV startup U POWER is envisioning with its UP Super Board. Designed to be an electrified chassis on which the car itself sits, the UP Super Board helps simplify the carmaking process, allowing EV makers to launch a diverse product portfolio in a shorter development cycle. The beauty of the UP Super Board is the fact that it’s car-agnostic too, supporting a variety of car types and sizes with only minor changes being made to the platform itself in terms of wheel size, ground clearance, and probably other performance aspects like torque, range, etc.
Designer: U Power
“The UP Super Board is a skateboard chassis that incorporates four leading technologies: chassis-by-wire, ring-network based EEA with pluggable design, CTC battery system and highly integrated thermal system,” says Paul Li, founder and CEO at U Power. “As a platform-based software and hardware-integrated operating system, UP Super Board enables automakers to focus more on styling, space and intelligent user experience and operation.”
To help further demonstrate the platform’s versatility, U Power also unveiled the UP Space Concept cars, a collection of automobiles that all use the UP Super Board platform underneath. The 5 car categories include a sedan, MPV, SUV, pick-up, and van, all of which sit on the same UP Super Board platform. All cars have the same wheelbase, but have chassis and track modifications based on the car type.
This entire process does to cars what standardized parts did for smartphones. Almost every smartphone runs on Android, but uses its own version/variation of it. As is the case with the processor, display, and camera modules. U Power’s standardized electric skateboard makes creating your own automobile easy too. Companies can build and modify concepts, experimenting with forms, aerodynamics, and interiors without having to focus on the underlying electrical and electronic components that actually power the EV. Moreover, they can make their own modifications to the platform too, getting the most out of it.
The UP Super Board and UP Space Concepts are winners of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2022.
The Red Dot Awards: Design Concept is now accepting entries for its 2023 edition. Click here to participate or visit the Red Dot Awards website to learn more. Early Submission Phase ends on January 18th, 2023.