The Intelligent EV tech startup completes Pre-A+ funding round
SHANGHAI, Oct. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — U Power, a Chinese Smart EV technology startup, has recently entered into a strategic agreement with German multinational engineering and technology company Bosch, whereby the two companies will collaborate on intelligent vehicle board technology to support the development of U Power’s "UP Super Board." At the same time, the startup has announced the completion of a Pre-A+ round of funding, led by Bosch’s market-oriented investment platform Boyuan Capital. This investment was the third round of financing received by U Power since its inception five months ago and Boyuan Capital’s first investment since being established.
Bosch (China) Investment Ltd. EVP Xu Daquan said: "Intelligent electric vehicle development has entered a critical period with platform-level technology guidance and innovation on track to become a new focus for development. One of the key items to come out as a result of these technological advances is the integrated vehicle board that can meet both hardware and software demands for modularization and intelligence, a feature that can greatly reduce production cost and R&D time. U Power is a partner with the right R&D and manufacturing strengths to produce such a component. We are looking forward to working with U Power on furthering integrated chassis technology and supporting the development of China’s intelligent EV industry."
As the lead investor in U Power’s Pre-A+ funding round, Boyuan Capital managing partner and CEO Zhu Lin said the value of traditional automotive supply chains has been changed with the arrival of intelligent automotive manufacturing. While many new players have entered the field, U Power has the right technology in place and therefore looks to be among the most promising. U Power’s proprietary UP Super Board is a breakthrough product that can greatly empower car manufacturing as the sector enters a new stage, greatly shorten the time needed for R&D, and meet the rapid launch and diversified market needs of intelligent EVs in different scenarios. With its many years in its role as a Tier 1 auto supplier and a complete vehicle manufacturer now deeply ingrained in its DNA, the U Power team will bring to the table a whole new approach to intelligent vehicle R&D and a highly imaginative business model for the automotive business chain, alongside its market-leading chassis products, to further reduce costs and increase efficiency. The two companies, as a result of the collaboration, will have a huge head start as the era of intelligent electric vehicle unfolds.
U Power, with its vast experience in manufacturing vehicles under multiple real-life scenarios, will reinvent the entire vehicle development process by moving to a modularization approach whereby the chassis is divided from the body. By redefining the fundamental approach, technical norms and supply chain, U Power’s proprietary UP Super Board can be customized to meet different hardware standards and software platforms, increasing R&D and manufacturing productivity. The existence of the UP Super Board is expected to shorten R&D time to one year and reduce production costs by up to 60%.
Today, China’s intelligent EV industry is exposed to increasingly fierce competition between traditional vehicle makers, new car manufacturers and technology companies. Advances in vehicle modularization and intelligence have made possible the body-chassis-separated manufacturing model. Some international start-ups are already working in this area in collaboration with major automakers. In China, the concept of the "super board" remains fresh. It is an open secret in the industry that more than 50% of the bill of materials (BOM) cost of intelligent EVs is concentrated in the power chassis, opening the door to the creation of a new "species" like the super board. U Power founder Li Peng said there are many companies from diverse backgrounds that are eager to enter the mobility space, but what holds them back are the high barriers. U Power looks forward to seeing the UP Super Board technology create a level playing field for all those that seek to enter.