Aiways could launch its new U5 electric SUV in the UK in right-hand-drive form in 2021, after the start-up company revealed strong interest in its first car.
Aiways is one of several Chinese brands to have gone public on plans for a European launch. It plans for a Europe-wide roll-out of the U5 from early 2020, after the model goes into production in China later this year in left-hand-drive form.
The U5 is a Volkswagen Tiguan-sized SUV that drives its front wheels through an electric motor that's fed by a 65kWh battery pack. Its range is 313 miles on the NEDC cycle, with WLTP testing yet to be completed.
Alexander Klose, Aiways' overseas director, says the company plans to build just 2000 units this year to ensure the quality is sufficient for European customers. It then plans to ramp up to 50,000 units from 2020.
The U5 will be leased only in Europe, exclusively online. Klose says a monthly lease cost of less than €400 (£346) is being targeted, making the U5 the equivalent of a €35,000 (£30,244) vehicle, but, crucially, that it offers all the benefits and equipment of a premium model with an electric drivetrain for the cost of a typical family SUV.