Aiways is one of the most talked-about Chinese EV startup companies because it offers a few fairly decent EVs that cost considerably less than most of their competition. Aiways managed to pack these cars with a lot of technology and convenience features which make them worth your time and money.
Aiways currently offers a few EVs but the most popular one is the U5 SUV/crossover which comes with a 63 kWh battery that can offer around 250 WLTP range. Given the fact that the national average price of electricity is 13 cents per kWh, a full charge should cost you around $8-$10 depending on the time of day you charge the car.
Let’s say you drive the car around 1000 miles per month which means that you will have to spend around $32.5 for 250 kWh of electricity. The cost of one kWh of electricity varies between states you will have to do your own math if you want to get the right estimate.
All in all, you should expect to pay $30-$60 per month more on your electricity bills if you charge your EV exclusively at home. If you rely on the public charging infrastructure, you are likely going to pay a lot more than that.
Aiways – The brand
The last few years saw a large surge of Chinese startup EV brands such as Aiways, ZHIDOU, NIO, XPeng, Li Auto which are mostly focused on designing and building cheaper EV alternatives to existing EV brands such as Volkswagen, Kia, Hyundai, and Toyota.
Aiways currently offers a few different models and all of them are more reasonably priced than their European, Japanese, and US competition. Aiways has managed to design and develop a competitive EV from the ground up in less than three years.
The most popular model Aiways currently offers is the U5 crossover/SUV which should cost around $45,000 in the US. The U5 offers a 63 kWh battery capable of 250 WLTP miles on a single charge cycle. You can charge the U5 from 20% to 80% in about 35 minutes if you manage to find a fast DC charger while AC charging takes about 10 hours for the same amount of charge.
Aiways is not all that popular at the moment but it seems like the brand is gathering lots of interest in Europe because they offer competitively priced cars with good build quality and lots of space.
Aiways – Why you should consider one
There are a few obvious reasons why one should consider an Aiways as their new electric car. First of all, the Aiways U5 costs around $45,000, and for that price, it offers the most space in its segment. The rear seats are huge and so is the cargo space, especially when you lower down the second row of seats.
The car also comes with lots of features from the factory which means that you should not have to spend a lot of money to get a well-equipped model. The exterior design looks a bit undecided but the interior design is filled with lots of high-quality materials and intuitive controls.
All Aiways models come with a decent infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay but it does not support Android Auto just yet. All cars come with a suspension setup tuned for comfortable driving which should make them enjoyable both on highways speeds and in town.
Aiways – Why you should not consider one
As previously stated, Aiways is only a start-up brand that has just arrived in the European market and is expected to come to the US in 2022. Buying a car from a start-up brand is always risky which means that you should do your research and find out where all the service spots are located in your state.
No Aiways model comes with navigation which is a little bit strange, especially if you use an Android device because Android Auto is not yet supported. The instrument cluster consists out of three separate screens which look a little bit dated even though the car is brand new.
However, the greatest issue that surrounds Aiways is the rather questionable safety record. Euro NCAP is the leading European organization that does crash testing and during their testings, the U5 only got three stars which is incredibly poor for a 2021 car.
Aiways responded soon enough by saying that they are working to solve the issues, so only time will tell if these safety ratings will improve or not.
Does it make any sense to buy an EV from a Chinese startup?
It depends on the car in question as some models are certainly better than others. However, if you want an EV but you are not willing to spend huge money to get one, it does make sense to consider a Chinese EV startup brand if the price is good enough.
You do need to make sure that all the essential ownership aspects are on a satisfactory level and that there are enough licensed service shops around that can service the car for you. Either way, it makes sense to wait a year or two before you buy one, especially because models are not exactly safe.
Does it make sense to buy an EV in 2022?
It does make sense if you are able to fully utilize an EV platform which means being able to charge the car whenever necessary. If you have a garage and you can wall charge your car overnight, it makes a lot of sense to buy an EV, especially if you only do short-distance commuting.
However, if you street park your car or you tend to cover lots of miles on a weekly basis, it’s best to skip buying an EV just yet.
Is Aiways as good as Tesla?
Tesla is currently the most valuable car brand on the planet while also being the benchmark EV brand. Aiways is a startup Chinese company that is still relatively unknown to the public. As such, comparing these two is rather pointless because Tesla bests Aiways in almost every regard.
Tesla cars are viewed as the most desirable mass production EVs on the planet while Aiways is still a newcomer from a foreign country. Aiways does offer more value for money as far as space and build quality is concerned, but Tesla offers everything else better than Aiways.