Aiways is a Chinese startup EV company that is only coming to the Western markets this year and is promising to offer a lot of value for the money. Aiways offers a few different models and all of them reside in the crossover/SUV segment because people are mostly interested in SUVs/crossovers at the moment.
The most popular Aiways model is the U5 that should cost around $45,000 from new. For this price, you are getting a 63 kWh Li-Ion that should last you around 250 WLTP miles. Of course, this can vary a lot depending on your overall energy consumption and your kWh/mile results.
You can recharge the battery from 20% to 80% in about 35 minutes if you come across a fast DC charger. If you charge the car at home through a regular AC socket, you should expect a charge time of around 8-10 hours which is well enough for an overnight charge.
Aiways has also utilized a so-called “sandwich” battery structure which improves temperature stability and should theoretically be safer in an event of a crash. All in all, Aiways offers competitively priced EVs with a decent range and an overall enjoyable experience.
Aiways U5 – Specifications
For a starting price of around $45,000, the U5 offers a mid-size crossover/SUV with two trunk spaces and lots of passengers space. Aiways takes great pride in mentioning that the drag coefficient of the U5 measures at 0.29 which is class-leading for an EV SUV.
All models come with a single electric motor capable of delivering 150 kW (201hp and 310 Nm). The 0-60mph time takes 7.5 seconds. The U5 comes with lots of ADAS which include active lane assist, traffic jam assists, blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, emergency brake assist, adaptive cruise control, and intelligent high beam assist.
The U5 also comes with a 12.3-inch tablet-style infotainment screen that comes with Apple CarPlay but it does not yet offer Android Auto. It also comes with an 8-speaker audio system and DAB+ radio which should make the drive more comfortable.
All in all, the U5 is a fairly competitive EV for the segment and it makes sense why the U5 is seeing lots of success in the European market. It’s an A-to-B electric crossover for those who simply want the most of their money.
Aiways battery technology
Aiways is proud to suggest that its battery technology is industry-leading both for packaging, efficiency, and overall safety. With a so-called “sandwich” battery design Aiways has managed to protect the battery from both temperature fluctuations and potential crash-induced damages.
Aiways also says that their batteries are extremely unlikely to ever catch fire which makes sense as no U5 model has ever experienced fire-related issues. Aiways currently holds more than a dozen of battery patents which are all there to increase safety and improve packaging.
The Chinese national battery quality testings require new brands to test their batteries in 51 different categories while Aiways says that their batteries have passed more than 500 different rigorous testing with flying colors.
Aiways U5 safety issues
Euro NCAP is a leading European crash testing organization focused on testing all newer cars and rating them with a one to five-star rating depending on how well they do in various different safety testings. The Aiways U5 only managed to get a three-star rating which is well below average for similar models.
The U5 fairs poorly in the side impact segment which means that the car is unable to fully protect its occupants in an event of a side-impact, especially the driver. However, Aiways has responded by saying they are actively working on solving these issues and that the next models should be able to earn a 5-star rating.
It’s worth mentioning that the U5 also didn’t do perfectly in the active safety department because some of the systems were unable to fully prevent a crash. Either way, this is enough to downgrade the U5 when compared to more mainstream European, Japanese, and US brands.
Only time will tell how Aiways is going to improve these safety ratings, so it’s a good idea to wait before you spend your money as safety is the last thing you should save your money on.
Should I buy an Aiways?
If you are in the market for an affordable, spacious and comfortable SUV/crossover, you should indeed take a look at the Aiways U5. If you want a more stylish yet equally practical variant, you should also take a look at the brand new Aiways U6.
Hardly any other EV company out there can match Aiways for both value and space even though the safety ratings are currently a bit questionable. All Aiways models are well priced and filled with all sorts of modern-day technologies which should make your daily driving experiences fun and relaxing.
How does Aiways compare to more mainstream EV brands?
When comparing Aiways or any other Chinese EV startup company with brands such as Kia, Hyundai, and VW, we are seeing a fairly significant price difference between them. Aiways models are usually larger and offer more stuff while also costing a few thousand dollars less than their more mainstream competitors.
Indeed, Aiways has virtually no brand appeal at the moment but Aiways is adamant about changing that in the coming years. People who are interested in buying Aiways models are mostly interested in buying A-to-B workhorses which means that they are not all that interested in buying the best, the baddest, or the fastest EV out there.
What is the future like for Aiways?
It seems like Aiways is on a good trajectory of becoming one of the best-sold EV brands out there because it offers value above everything else. One of the largest criticisms of the entire EV market is the overall price hike it takes to buy an EV in general.
Some ICE cars that cost the same amount of money are usually way more desirable and better in every regard. However, Aiways has managed to solve those issues by offering cheap EVs for the masses which should increase their market presence in no time.