Have you heard of Aiways? Most of us haven’t. It is the first Chinese EV manufacturer to receive full type approval from German testing and certification agency TUV Rheinland for an electric car — the U5 SUV. Gunnar Pflug, who is responsible for type certification at TUV, presented Aiways president Samuel Fu with the approval letter this week, marking the first time a Chinese electric car has been certified for sale in Europe.
The car itself is quite handsome and resembles the popular Hyundai Kona in appearance. According to Electrive, the U5 is 4.70 meters long with a 140 kW motor driving the front wheels. Range is said to be 460 kilometers | 286 miles in the discredited NEDC test cycle. Expect real world range of about 240 miles | 386 km once all the conversions are done.
Prices have not yet been announced but rumors in the European media hit of a base price of about €25,000. If that is true, Aiways can expect quite a few customers queuing up to buy a U5. The company says it expects to being selling the U5 next year beginning in Norway before expanding sales to Sweden and Germany.
For the TUV presentation ceremony, two U5s were driven more than 15,000 kilometers from China across Russia, then through the Baltic states, Scandinavia, Denmark, the Benelux countries, then on through France before arriving in Frankfurt.
“The Chinese automotive industry is strongly committed to alternative driveline technologies and intends to use them to open up international markets,” says Gunnar Pflug. “TÜV Rheinland has the competence and experience to provide Chinese manufacturers with access to these markets through appropriate testing and certification services.”
The EU type approval is mandatory for all vehicles, vehicle parts, and systems sold in the European Union. The certification covers aspects such as vehicle safety, environmental protection and emission values. TÜV Rheinland operates specialized test laboratories around the world for a wide variety of assemblies and systems in the vehicle industry and is familiar with the requirements of regional and national authorities.
All photos courtesy of Aiways.