Aiways tests U5 electric SUV on marathon trip from China to Germany
Chinese automaker Aiways is testing its battery-powered U5 on a "marathon" journey from China to Germany, where the SUV is scheduled to arrive in time for the Frankfurt auto show in September.
Two U5 prototypes left the city of Xian at the eastern end of the Silk Road in central China on Wednesday. Aiways wants the vehicles to reach Frankfurt in the first week of September.
The 14,231-kilometer trip will take an Aiways convoy travel first through the Gobi Desert of northern China, then follow routes used for centuries by Silk Road traders, arriving in Kazakhstan at the end of July. The convoy will then enter Russia, passing through Moscow and St. Petersburg before entering Europe through Finland.
The northernmost leg of the drive takes the U5s through Sweden, Norway and Denmark, before entering Germany.
Engineers will test everything from the E-Drive powertrain to the chassis settings and steering characteristics.
The U5 has a range of 460 km that can be extended to 560 km if the customer chooses to lease additional battery packs. Aiways plans to launch sales of the U5 in Europe in April.