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Emerging Scanning Results: Skateboard Chassis for Utility Integration

PATH Roadmap Applicability:


Advanced Panelized Construction


Energy Efficiency in Existing Homes


Information Technology


Whole House & Building Process Redesign


General Motors is pioneering a "skateboard" chassis for future generation vehicles. The chassis contains all of the sedan's propulsion, transmission, steering and braking components within its 11-inch frame and provides a single electrical connection to the body. Standardizing the chassis will increase the efficiency of automotive production while enabling automotive designers to tailor model designs to the interests and needs of the consumer marketplace. The prototype GM Hy-wire vehicle demonstrates this standardized chassis of the future as depicted in the photo. The concept of building a chassis upon which multiple designs could be placed may have application in the building industry, particularly in manufactured housing where chasses are built today to carry manufactured housing systems to the site for placement. 

Innovative Skateboard Chassis Used by GM in New Vehicle

GM's new Hy-wire vehicle uses an
innovative skateboard chassis.

Application to PATH Roadmaps

The PATH whole house roadmap emphasizes the need to disentangle utilities in housing systems. As many as ten trades install as many as twenty different products just in the walls of houses. Some trades, like electricians, have to return to the job site at different stages of production to perform their tasks. This causes overlap problems where the work of one trade may interfere with work already accomplished by another. The skateboard chassis concept could be applied to housing as a way of designing for maximum efficiency in utility installation.

Current Status of Technology

The skateboard chassis concept was released last year by GM in unveiling the Hy-wire prototype vehicle. The Hy-wire is not scheduled for production until at least 2010. Some elements of the utility integration could be incorporated as modules in new home construction, particularly in manufactured housing systems where chasses are already used in the manufacturing process.

Contact Information

Chris Borroni-Bird
Director, Design and Vehicle Technology Interface
General Motors Corporation
Detroit, MI
Web Address:

Content updated on 4/30/2003

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