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China’s AIWAYS has embarked on the longest point-to-point drive of a prototype electric vehicle ever attempted.

A pair of prototype AIWAYS U5 battery-electric SUVs have left Xi’an in China, and are now being driven 14,231 km (8,843 miles) to Frankfurt, Germany. The vehicles are scheduled to complete their epic journey in September – just in time for IAA 2019.

Alexander Klose, Executive VP Overseas Operation at AIWAYS, says: “This unprecedented drive presents a unique chance to validate and fine-tune key aspects of the U5, from powertrain characteristics to the durability of thousands of components. By traversing thousands of kilometres in some truly challenging conditions we will demonstrate how simple and easy EV ownership can be for today’s car buyers.”

AIWAYS Chief Technical Officer Winter Wang adds: “To date, the development process has enabled us to create a user-friendly SUV with great depth of ability, and this long-distance engineering drive on some very challenging road conditions will ensure the car offers the real-world electric performance, reliability and range demanded by Chinese and European consumers.”

AIWAYS U5 engineering drive starts

AIWAYS says it intends to bring its connected and local zero-emissions family transport to the European market by April 2020.

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