Aiways, one of the many Chinese EV startups, announced the start of volume production of its first all-electric car model in aiwaays u5 forum , the mid-size SUV aiways u5.
The company produces its cars in Shangrao, China, in a brand new, €1.73 billion ($1.94 billion) purpose-built manufacturing plant, which was built in only 14 months, which is quite an achievement (not that far from Tesla Gigafactory 3, which did it in 12 months). The manufacturing capacity of the Aiways plant is 150,000 cars annually, with an option for 300,000 annually.
With the first deliveries to Chinese customers underway, Aiways is planning to start sales in Europe in April 2020 (the initial batch of cars destined for Europe was already produced at the end of November).
The price for Europe will be announced in early 2020. The general info on the website says that Aiways U5 is able to go up to 503 km (312.6 miles) under the NEDC test cycle, using a 65 kWh battery. According to Aiways, the U5 is a combination of affordability, style, and premium build quality, rather than performance, as the electric motor is just 125 kW. Prices after incentives are from 197,900 to 292,100 yuan ($28,420 to $41,949).
Aiways U5 specs:
503 km (312.6 miles) of NEDC range
65 kWh battery (liquid-cooled)
battery pack energy density of 181 Wh/kg
125 kW and 315 Nm electric motor (front-wheel drive)
fast charging: 30-80% SOC in 27 minutes
AIWAYS’ President commented:
“This is a key moment for AIWAYS as we ramp up production to meet the demand for new-energy vehicles here in China. Following the start of volume production and deliveries in our domestic market, we are now a vital step closer to the official European launch of the all-electric U5 early next year.”
Co-founder, Samuel Fu:
“Buyers of the U5 in China have been drawn to the U5’s blend of zero-emissions power, high-tech features, and eye-catching design, as well as the German-led R&D expertise that has informed every stage of its development. As we present the first examples of the car to European media and potential customers early next year, we are confident that the same characteristics will appeal.”
Chinese cars are currently rare, not to say non-existent on European roads. Some manufacturers have already planned to set up there, but the wait is long, notably for Lynk & Co, the Chinese branch of Geely for Europe. The latter should be overtaken by Aiways , which confirms the opening of orders for its electric SUV, the U5, from the end of April.
At launch, it will only be offered for rental (and online) from around € 400 per month, for a contract that is not yet known in detail. Leasing will allow Aiways to reassure the first customers who will not have to manage resale, which is always complicated with unknown brands. The U5 carries 63 kWh of batteries supplied by another Chinese giant: CATL, the world leader in lithium batteries. The only engine develops 200 hp for the U5 which will clearly be aimed at families. With 4.68 meters long, it is right between a Volkswagen Tiguan and a Touareg in terms of size. It still claims, roughly, the same length as a Tiguan Allspace.