EV "Skateboard" Platforms Will Bring a Wave of Fresh (Not Necessarily Good) Automotive Designs

“Break design limitations to clear a way for car designing,” writes U Power, a Shanghai-based mobility startup. The company is referring specifically to their UP Super Board; U Power is the latest to develop a standalone EV “skateboard,” a plug-and-play platform atop which other manufacturers can drop their own automotive designs.

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U Power refers to the drop-on car designs as “top hats,” and provides some examples, presumably to stimulate potential clients’ imaginations:

The sheer range of forms, which I think ranges from bland to promising to downright awful, illuminates something about the future of auto design. Since the inception of the automobile, becoming a car designer has been a difficult path with barriers to entry and established gatekeepers, because the complexity required to produce an automobile required massive, expensive organizations.

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With companies like U Power and REE reducing those complexities, and thus the up-front capital investment required to get into the car game, it will open the door to startups willing to take design risks that established companies would not.

Sadly, it may also open the door to would-be car sellers who don’t “get” design at all, and will not have stringent standards. But one thing is for sure: We’re going to start seeing a lot of new, weird forms on four wheels, and if we’re lucky, some kind of “design breakthrough” that I can’t picture yet.

Source: core77

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