China EV startup Aiways will begin SUV sales in Europe

China EV startup Aiways will begin SUV sales in Europe

Chinese electric-vehicle start-up Aiways says it will start European sales of the U5 midsize SUV later this year.

The automaker will showcase the U5 at the Geneva auto show on March 5.

Aiways said the car has a range of 460 km (286 miles) that can be extended to 560 km if the customer chooses to lease additional battery packs that fit into the floor of the car.

The U5 is already in production at Aiway’s factory in Shangrao City in China’s south-eastern Jiangxi province.

The SUV is built on a modular platform using a blend of aluminum and high-strength steel, with the battery pack sandwiched in the floor, the company said.

Technology includes a triple panel of screens in front of the driver, as well as a high-definition touchscreen in the center of the dashboard. The car is available with adaptive cruise control and autonomous low-speed parking.

The U5 is 4680mm long, about the same length as an Audi Q5. It is also 1880mm wide and 1680mm tall, Aiways said on its website.

Aiways is targeting “most of Europe” with the U5 but will not rely on a dealer network it said, without giving more details. No pricing or market information for European models were given ahead of the Geneva unveil. The car will not be available in right-hand drive for the UK market.

If sales go ahead in Europe by the end of the year as planned, Aiways would be ahead of Chinese rivals to bring an electric car to market. Lynk & CO, owned by Geely, plans an electric car but will not launch the brand in Europe until 2020.

Aiways was founded in 2016 by the former chief financial officer of Chinese automotive giant SAIC Group, Gu Feng.  The company’s chief product officer is Roland Gumpert, the founder of sports car company Apollo Automobile and a former head of Audi Sport.

Aiways has unveiled a low-volume halo electric sports car called Nathalie last year. The car accelerates to 100kph (62mph) in 2.5 seconds, according to the company. It was built using a tubular steel chassis and was fitted with a roll cage to enhance stiffness and make it safer for high-speed track driving.

Chinese electric car brand Arcfox will also be at the Geneva show and plans to unveil an SUV concept and a sports car.

Arcfox is part of BAIC (Beijing Auto). The company has not yet said whether it will announce sales in Europe.

Source link