AIWAYS, the Shanghai-based personal mobility provider, has started the first overseas shipment of its U5 all-electric SUV, with 500 models leaving the company’s smart manufacturing facility in Shangrao, China. The cars will arrive at the French island of Corsica next month. Residents and tourists on the island will be the first consumers in Europe to experience the AIWAYS U5, which will be available to rent from Hertz Corsica, operated by local company Filippi Auto.
With this shipment, AIWAYS becomes the first Chinese startup to deliver EVs to the European Union (EU), at a time when EU countries are ramping up investment in smart, zero emission transportation and build a sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alexander Klose, Executive VP Overseas Operation at AIWAYS, comments: “We have been encouraged by recent moves from European leaders, such as those from the French government and others, to invest in and grow the EV market. During our record-breaking EV prototype drive last year, we learnt that European car buyers are looking for more practical zero emission choices. We are proud to be part of this movement and increase access to EVs for consumers.”
During its epic 15,022 kilometer, 53-day EV road trip from Xi’an to Frankfurt in 2019, an engineering team in two AIWAYS U5 prototypes passed through more than a dozen European countries. During the journey the cars were showcased to numerous partners and suppliers, such as Grupo Antolin in Besançon, attracting widespread praise for their quality and performance. Now, with the delivery of 500 AIWAYS U5 models to Corsica, the new brand has returned to Europe and is here to stay.
In celebration of AIWAYS’ first overseas shipment, the company held a special ceremony in Shangrao, where AIWAYS has the current capability to build 150,000 vehicles per annum under the brand’s intelligent manufacturing ethos. AIWAYS executives and employees were joined by representatives from the Chinese government and automotive industry.