Shanghai/Munich, February 2, 2022 – The Aiways U5 SUV has successfully completed one of the most demanding driving challenges in Europe. Not for the fainthearted, the eNordkapp challenge attracts thrill seekers willing to take on the 7,000 kilometer trip from Flensburg, Germany, up to the Nordkapp (North Cape) in northern Norway, and back via Sweden to Germany where it ends in Lübeck. Set against grueling conditions, the brave teams face snowstorms, short days, ice driving and temperatures of down to minus 20 degrees Celsius along the route.
The U5 SUV from Shanghai-based EV start-up Aiways was a newcomer to the eNordkapp challenge, which is now in its tenth year. 19 teams took part in the event, each driving a different model from the vast choice of EVs available today. The challenge is not about crossing the finish line first or most distance covered, but a test of endurance and resilience. The route is set specifically to present each EV with a set of adverse conditions that push it to its limits.
The Aiways U5 SUV, deployed by Aiways Automobile Europe, was driven by Dennis Schulmeyer, Managing Director of EV charging technology company Lade, and friend Manuel Zagovec. The pair chose to enter due to their shared personal experiences with e-mobility and professional interest in the advanced Norwegian charging infrastructure.
Dennis Schulmeyer said, “The U5 SUV was the perfect vehicle for this drive. Not only was it extremely comfortable for hours behind the wheel, but it performed well in unfavorable conditions. It is true that electric vehicles perform differently in colder temperatures, but the U5 SUV was exceptionally capable and proved to be a powerful asset for our team in this challenge. A huge advantage for us was how quickly an EV can generate heat in the cabin – definitely needed on those nights where the gauge approached minus 20! The U5 SUV makes electric mobility truly reliable and convenient, which is a great inspiration as we’re doing the same with charging points.”
Mikael Nilsen, Swedish national and Director of Aftersales at Aiways Europe, added: “We were very happy to support Dennis taking part in the eNordkapp challenge, and seeing how the U5 SUV performed in the harshest conditions. The resulting data showed a car pushed to its limits, but not defeated and with no problems at all – it just needed a thorough clean once home!”.
Norway is well supplied with EV charging infrastructure, and despite the distance and remote locations, charging points were so prolific that the U5 SUV never needed to stop for more than an hour to charge. However, the road conditions and adverse weather meant the team were not able to travel more than 500km a day. Even when cold conditions and rolling resistance increased the demand on the battery (at times, consumption was up to 25 kWh/100km) it was still better than most regular ICE vehicles – with the added advantage of zero emissions.
Against the stunning backdrop of the Norwegian winter, the U5 SUV capably navigated snow-covered roads up to the Nordkapp (the North Cape) – the most northern point in Europe accessible by road. Followers were kept up to date with its progress via live tracking and social media feeds throughout the 13-day drive.
To date, the U5 SUV has taken part in many prestigious long-distance driving events across Europe successfully completing the ED1000 and E-Cannonball endurance drives and winning the Riviera Electric Challenge in 2021.
High resolution images can be found here: https://we.tl/t-vDaEwBzezq
Founded in 2017, Aiways is a Shanghai-based personal mobility provider with its European HQ in Munich, Germany. It was the first Chinese startup to introduce an electric vehicle to the European market with the launch of the U5 in 2020 – a battery-electric SUV with impressive range, style, and quality. Aiways is rapidly continuing its expansion in Europe and beyond: order books are open in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, France, Israel, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Sweden – with more markets to follow. The U5 SUV is produced at Aiways smart production facility in Shangrao – one of the most modern car production facilities in China. The IT- controlled processes with challenging quality gates follow the standards of Industry 4.0. With an initial production capacity of 150,000 units per annum, Aiways can increase this number to 300,000 units when global EV demand rises. Aiways’ next model for Europe will be the battery-electric U6 SUV-Coupé. With a focus on sophisticated aerodynamics, highly connected driving, safety technology, and a sporty design, the U6 SUV-Coupé is just the next chapter of Aiways’ promising future.
You can find all Aiways press releases and press kits, as well as a wide selection of high resolution, downloadable photographs, and video footage on the media website: http://media.ai-ways.eu/.
Aiways media contacts
Bernd Abel, Aiways Automobile Europe GmbH
James Parsons, PFPR Communications
+44 (0)7725 257792