The Mini Cooper SE’s 400-km (248-mile) drive from Munich to the Frankfurt Motor Show is child’s play compared to the way another EV arrived at the event.
China’s Aiways has officially set a Guinness World Records title for the “longest journey by an electric vehicle (prototype)” after two of its U5 electric SUVs completed an epic 15,022-kilometer (9,334-mile) road trip from China to Frankfurt, Germany.
The Aiways U5 EVs started their journey in Xi’an, Shanxi, China on July 17 and arrived in Frankfurt on September 7 after crossing 12 countries following the ancient Silk Road. The Aiways U5 Engineering Drive Team used the 53-day drive to test the pair of development cars in various conditions, including different climates, road conditions, and charging infrastructures.
The prototypes passed through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Switzerland. Along the way, the convoy tackled the Chinese Gobi Desert, Kazakh Steppe, and Southern Ural Mountains, locations that are difficult to cross and lack an adequate electric vehicle charging infrastructure. That is why engineers frequently relied on low-voltage power sources to recharge the prototype vehicles overnight.
The Aiways team used this to successfully optimize the U5’s charging logic, ensuring compatibility with different charging standards and varying voltages. Engineers constantly monitored the thermal management system underpinning the 65 kWh battery pack, as well as the electric motor, suspension components, and dynamic characteristics.
“This has been a drive of epic proportions, with the U5 tackling some of the best and worst road conditions that drivers might expect to come across in a lifetime of driving,” said Aiways Chief Technical Officer Winter Wang. “It shows the high standard of development work that has gone into creating a car that is as suitable for driving in Shanghai as it is in Western Europe,” he added.
The epic drive should serve as a great conversation starter in Europe about the Aiways U5 which has recently achieved European homologation in all product aspects. The company promises its electric midsize SUV offers a 460-km (286-mile) driving range as per NEDC as well as premium build quality, connectivity and safety thanks to its aluminum-steel More Adaptable Structure (MAS) platform. The Aiways U5 features a 140 kW (188 HP / 190 PS) electric motor that sends up to 315 Nm (232 lb-ft) of torque to the front wheels only. It will go on sale in Europe in April 2020.