The idea of the self-contained EV skateboard chassis has become so alluring that startups, suppliers and even automakers are marketing them as plug-and-play solutions on which customers can simply add a body, also called a top hat.
But like many catchy ideas on the path to electromobility, this one also is stumbling as it meets the hard reality of going from vision to vehicle development and manufacturing.
The growth of the skateboard concept in the past two to three years is partly a result of its disruptive potential. Proponents talk about the freedoms that come from replacing the internal combustion engine with a solution that neatly positions the batteries and electric drivetrain components into a comparatively thin rolling chassis.
With no engine in the way, theoretically any top hat or body can be attached.
The benefits to automakers seem obvious.
"They don't have to start from scratch, which means they can reduce costs and time to market," Marco Kollmeier, Benteler's head of e-mobility, said last year about the supplier's Electric Drive System 2.0 skateboard rolling chassis, developed with Robert Bosch.
Many were convinced.