- Single point-to-point route of 14,231 km (8,843 miles) will form part of rigorous test programme; showcases how simple and easy U5 is to live with
- Drive commences in Xi-an in mid-July, concludes September 2019
- U5 battery-electric SUV to be launched in Europe from April 2020
- AIWAYS will be first Chinese brand to bring electric SUVs to Europe
- Further details of challenging route to be disclosed soon
Shanghai, 10 July – AIWAYS, the Shanghai-based personal mobility provider, is poised to embark on what is believed to be the longest point-to-point drive of a prototype electric vehicle ever attempted. The initiative is part of the comprehensive test and development programme for the AIWAYS U5 battery-electric SUV, which will be the first vehicle of its kind to be launched by a Chinese brand in Europe when it arrives in April 2020.
The 14,231 km (8,843 miles) drive will start in Xi’an, capital of Shaanxi Province, China, chosen because it marks the start of the Silk Road and has historical significance as a hub for trading, cultural exchange and communication between China and Europe.
AIWAYS is pushing the U5 to its limits to ensure it delivers the real-world performance, reliability and range demanded by European consumers. The engineering team will also explore how simple and easy it is to live with the U5, driving and recharging as they pass through numerous countries where temperatures, road conditions and available charging infrastructures differ considerably.
Further details of the audacious EV engineering drive will be disclosed when two U5 prototype vehicles set off on their epic journey from China on 17 July.
About AIWAYS and the U5
The U5 is a statement of intent for the AIWAYS brand as it aims to bring affordable, connected and local zero-emissions family transport to the European market. The mid-size SUV will offer style, premium build quality, connectivity, safety and 460km battery range (NEDC).
Built on AIWAYS’ innovative aluminium-steel More Adaptable Structure (MAS) platform, the new car will lead AIWAYS’ product offensive, which will add one new model per year – including a range of electric family SUVs.
AIWAYS has invested heavily in the entire value chain of the U5. This begins with the newly established €1.7bn (£1.5bn) Shangrao production plant in Jiangxi Province, where the U5 will be manufactured. This facility consists of a stamping plant, body and paint shop, and final assembly line. It has been engineered to Industry 4.0 standards, and will initially be able to produce 150,000 cars a year with a second phase of expansion planned to bring capacity to 300,000 units.