The Chinese electric car startup Aiways has secured a production license in China: Aiways acquires a billion yuan stake in Jiangling Motors Holding, the joint venture previously held 50 per cent each by the Chinese vehicle manufacturers Jiangling Motors and Changan.
With this sum, Aiways will even become the majority owner of the joint venture. The startup thus also receives the production license from Jiangling, as the media reports show. According to TianYanCha, a Chinese search platform for company information, Aiways has already changed its description: “Research and development, production and sale of New Energy Vehicles”.
The first production model, Aiways U5, is scheduled to be launched this year, and sales in Europe are also planned for 2020. The 4.70 meter long SUV has a 140 kW engine at the front axle, the range is supposed to be 460 kilometers – but still according to NEDC. Prices are not yet known, but the media are speculating about a base price of around 25,000 euros.
The possible background to the billion euro investment in the joint venture: In June, plans were announced by the Chinese government that the electric car start-ups in the country would be more strongly regulated. Only a handful of the nearly 500 registered electric car manufacturers are already selling their vehicles – and even fewer have their own production facilities.
This is exactly where the government wants to attack: According to the plans, manufacturers of electric cars may only outsource their production to other manufacturers if they have invested at least 4 billion yuan (around 580 million dollars) in research and development in China in the past three years and have sold at least 15,000 purely electric cars worldwide in the past two years. The new regulations also provide for a minimum term of three years for production orders with an annual production of at least 50,000 vehicles at one location. In addition, electric car start-ups will not be allowed to conclude production agreements with more than two car manufacturers.