Chinese car manufacturer Aiways has claimed a Guinness World Records title for the “longest journey by an electric vehicle (prototype)” after two of its U5 EVs completed an epic 9,334-mile (15,022 km) road trip from China to Germany.
Starting in Xi’an, China, a team of engineers tackled extreme weather and adverse road challenges on their 53-day journey.
They crossed the harsh Gobi Desert of northern China, following routes established centuries ago by the Silk Road traders, before traversing Kazakhstan’s unforgiving rural roads.
The pair of prototypes then entered Russia and passed through Moscow and St Petersburg, before heading to Finland. They then drove through Sweden, Norway and Denmark, before spending time in Amsterdam, Paris and Zurich, finally arriving in Frankfurt.
“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.”
The Aiways U5 Engineering Drive Team used the demanding drive to test the pair of development cars in various conditions – the final hurdle before production commences ahead of the planned 2020 European launch.
The Volkswagen Tiguan-sized U5’s greatest test was crossing the Chinese Gobi Desert and the Kazakh Steppe, locations without an adequate electric vehicle charging infrastructure, where the team had to rely on low-voltage power sources to recharge the prototype vehicles overnight.
Aiways, which will be the first Chinese brand to bring electric SUVs to Europe, says its fully-electric ‘E-Drive’ powertrain is the most compact of any zero-emission vehicle and the U5 will boast a range of up to 312 miles (503km) on a charge.