How U Power (NASDAQ: UCAR) Is Addressing Key Concerns For Widespread EV Adoption – Including Range Anxiety And Charging Times | News Direct

How U Power (NASDAQ: UCAR) Is Addressing Key Concerns For Widespread EV Adoption – Including Range Anxiety And Charging Times

News release by Benzinga

facebook icon linkedin icon twitter icon pinterest icon email icon Detroit, Michigan | June 12, 2024 02:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

By Meg Flippin, Benzinga

Electric vehicles are growing in popularity as the world seeks a greener future. That’s true around the world with electric cars accounting for 18% of vehicles sold last year, up from just 2% five years ago.

That growth could be even greater, but large-scale adoption of these emissions-free cars and trucks is proving elusive – something that is true in many countries. Range anxiety is a big reason. The fear of running out of battery life is too great for some consumers and fleet operators to overcome. Then there’s charging. It can take time to get the vehicle powered up, depending on the system and demand.

U Power (NASDAQ: UCAR), the Nasdaq-listed EV power solution company, believes it has the solution to overcome those challenges and spur greater EV adoption across the globe. It is betting that UOTTA – its proprietary battery-swapping technology – can overcome range fears and eliminate any wasted time waiting for a vehicle to charge.

This battery-swapping model is appealing because customers only need to pay for the vehicle when purchasing a vehicle through the battery bank. After that, they pay a monthly rental fee for the battery. Not only does this reduce the procurement cost of EVs but the rental and service fees for battery swapping during daily operations are 30% to 50% cheaper than fast charging. Since batteries are swapped out, it extends the lifespan of the batteries and protects the environment since the dismantling and recycling of the batteries after retirement complies with environmental policies.

Speed Is Power

With U Power’s advanced technology, consumers and fleet operators can replace dead EV batteries with fully charged ones in under five minutes. That removes the time challenges, and with swapping stations eventually located around the world, it eliminates the fear of running out of battery life.

U Power isn’t your run-of-the-mill EV battery-swapping player, either. The company started out in 2013 as a vehicle-sourcing services company focused on lower-tier cities in China. Since then, U Power has forged partnerships with leading automotive manufacturers. Utilizing a distinctive financial model coupled with customized vehicle offerings, the company has filled the market gap beyond the 4S dealership network, establishing over 800 operational outlets across China.

In 2017, U Power emerged as one of the earliest entrants into the new energy electric vehicle sales market. Leveraging market insights and accumulated experience, U Power pioneered the UOTTA battery-swapping technology in 2019. Collaborating with automotive manufacturers, the company introduced various models of battery-swapping vehicles for commercial use, successfully penetrating the market. Moreover, U Power is also a key contributor to the drafting of China's battery-swapping standards. With its industry influence and advantages, U Power achieved a milestone in 2023 by becoming the world's first publicly listed company specializing in electric vehicle battery-swapping technology.

Since then, the company has been busy churning out new technology, securing 14 patents and 24 pending patent applications in China. Last year, it sold and delivered six battery-swapping stations to four customers. All told it has already sold eleven battery-swapping stations, and its solutions include UOTTA-powered EVs, battery-swapping stations and a data management platform synchronizing real-time data.

U Power is also forging partnerships with Chinese automobile manufacturers to jointly develop commercial-use UOTTA-powered EVs, such as ride-hailing passenger EVs, small logistics EVs and light electric trucks.

Major Collaborations Spurring Growth

The company’s efforts towards forging partnerships were also on display recently with U Power inking a deal with Dutch electric vehicle company UNEX to provide battery-swapping vehicles and swapping station services to Associação Nacional dos Transportes Rodoviários em Automóveis Ligeiros (ANTRAL), the association representing public passenger road transport companies operating light vehicles designated as taxis in Portugal. ANTRAL will use U Power’s UOTTA technology and battery swapping station model. Through the collaboration, the two aim to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector by 2030, in line with the European Union's decarbonization targets and Portugal's regulatory requirements for taxi vehicles. Combining U Power’s battery-swapping station model and UNEX’s extensive network and market know-how, U Power said the goal is to sell the taxi industry EVs and install charging and battery-swapping stations. The first phase of the agreement is expected to provide two swapping stations and 120 battery-swapping taxis.

ANTRAL operates more than 1,000 taxis, covering over 80 million kilometers annually, with carbon emissions reaching 1,440 tons and fuel costs close to €10 million. By adopting UOTTA battery swapping services, U Power said related costs are expected to be reduced by 30-50%, aligning with the EU's goal of achieving 30 million "zero-emission" electric vehicles by 2030.

"This collaboration between UNEX and ANTRAL that utilizes our UOTTA technology marks a significant stride towards promoting sustainable transportation and reducing emissions. By combining our battery-swapping expertise with their commitment to decarbonization, we aim to facilitate the transition of taxi fleets from fossil fuels to electric mobility,” said Jia Li, Chairman and CEO of U Power. “This partnership highlights the global taxi industry's shift towards electrification, which will lead to reduced operational costs, increased driver earnings, and lower carbon footprints.” About 50,000 to 60,000 European taxis are expected to transition to electric vehicles in the next three to five years, presenting a big opportunity, reports U Power.

Collaborations like that are behind the company’s revenue growth of 153.5% from fiscal year 2022 to fiscal year 2023. As U Power collaborates with more and more customers, it is building a brand and reputation in the market, which the company expects will drive further growth in the future. It is a big opportunity. The market size for battery swapping and electric commercial vehicles is projected to reach RMB 176,615.1 million in 2026, growing at a CAGR of 68.1% from now until then, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan, cited by U Power.

Setting Its Sights Internationally

Beyond its deal with ANTRAL, U Power is making inroads in other areas of its international expansion, including in Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and Peru. The company is focused on electrifying the commercial vehicle sector, particularly targeting urban taxis, buses, logistics vehicles, and transportation vehicles in mines. A crucial aspect of U Power's strategy is to collaborate with local industry-specific clients, integrating successful experiences from China with the specific demands of these clients. This approach involves systematizing the output of battery swapping stations, swapping vehicles, and battery banks, facilitating the rapid development of battery swapping services.

In Peru, U Power just embarked on a collaborative pilot test with a Peruvian mining firm to evaluate electric heavy-duty vehicles on an established haulage route. This venture aims to identify an efficient substitute for traditional fuel-powered trucks, offering the potential to cut energy use and reduce operational costs, reports U Power.

Then there’s its deal with Cornerstone Technologies Holdings Limited, a leading EV charging solution provider and charge point operator based in Hong Kong with an increasing presence across Southeast Asia. Under their memorandum of understanding, the two are jointly exploring and developing a strategic business relationship. “Through this collaboration, we believe our battery swapping stations will gain increased visibility in our target markets. We look forward to building a successful relationship that delivers sustainable value for our shareholders,” said Li.

Even business with U Power’s existing customers is growing, underscoring the quality and innovative nature of its technology. Earlier this month, U Power announced it received a follow-on purchase order for its advanced dual-mode intelligent battery swapping stations from a major taxi operator in Jilin, China. These dual-mode intelligent battery swapping stations feature separate robotic guided vehicles (RGVs) for battery removal and installation. The use of robotics reduces the battery swapping time from between three to five minutes to two to three minutes. What’s more, U Power said the maintenance cycle of the swapping stations has been optimized, reducing weekly maintenance time by around six hours and enhancing operational efficiency by approximately 15%.

As U Power transitions from a vehicle-sourcing business to providing comprehensive battery-swapping solutions based on its proprietary UOTTA technology, it is going beyond just selling battery-swapping equipment and vehicles, offering customers big and small an ecosystem of greener vehicle technology. The company is betting its technology and offering will play a pivotal role in making the world greener one fleet at a time.

Featured photo by Ernest Ojeh on Unsplash.


Benzinga is a leading financial media and data provider, known for delivering accurate, timely, and actionable financial information to empower investors and traders.


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