Chinese electric vehicle startup Aiways has begun shipping 500 electric vehicles to the French island of Corse as part of efforts to explore the European market.
The vehicles – all U5 crossovers – will be used for leasing on the island in the Mediterranean Sea, the company said.
The U5 – about the size of an Audi Q5 – is Aiways’ first product and is equipped with a 140-kilowatt electric motor, with a range of more than 400 kilometers.
Aiways was established in Shanghai in 2017 by Volvo Car Corp.’s former China sales chief, Fu Qiang, and SAIC Motor Corp.’s former CFO, Gu Feng. It has an assembly plant in Shangrao of east China’s Jiangxi province.
The startup, eager to demonstrate its engineering capabilities, product quality and ambitions to enter the European market, staged a test drive of two U5s on a 14,231-kilometer (8,843-mile) journey stretching from the northwestern China city of Xi’an to Frankfurt, Germany, last year.
Aiways is not the first Chinese EV maker to export to Europe this year. Suda Electric Vehicle Technology Co. last month began shipping the first batch of 200 electric sedans to Dusseldorf, Germany, from a plant in the north China city of Sanmenxia.