The Chinese start-up Aiways is preparing its European market launch. Starting in April 2020, the all-electric SUV U5 will also be available in Europe. Before sales, the company is planning a 14,000 km drive to Europe to show off the U5.
The U5 will also be sold in Northern Europe, as a company spokesman confirmed to media sources. Given the market share of electric cars in Norway, this is a logical step. With 7,000 electric vehicle approvals in 2018, the neighbouring country Sweden will also reach a noteworthy number of units. Germany will also be targeted as a market.
The vehicles will then likely be sold directly to customers. Aiways pursues a “direct to customer” sales approach, according to a spokesperson, but no official information was provided for the European strategy. Thus, short- and long-term leasing contracts are potentially possible. For the service network, Aiways is negotiating “with a major European provider in the after-sales market”, according to the report. More information will be attainable in the context of the IAA, however not at the trade fair itself due to the lack of an Aiways stand, but at an event in the surrounding area.
In order to demonstrate the viability of the Chinese electric SUV, Aiways wants to undertake the longest journey of an electric car prototype to date. On July 17, two pre-series U5s are scheduled to leave China and travel 14,231 kilometres to Europe. With the rough terrain along the route, this route is sure to provide a challenge for any driver. The necessary charging stops are planned in areas with weak infrastructure, adding additional complications.
Aiways presented the U5 in March 2019 at the Geneva Motor Show. The 4.70 metre long SUV has a 140 kW engine on the front axle, the range is said to be 460 kilometres – but still according to NEDC. Prices are not yet known, but the media are speculating about a base price of around 25,000 euros.