BEV Drive From China to Europe Sets Off

A Chinese attempt at the longest single jouney by a BEV has now revealed its destination at Frankfurt in Germany some 8,843 miles from the Xi’an start line.

The drive, using a pair of Aiways U5 SUV vehicles, set off this week and will roughly follow the route of the ancient Silk Road and hopes to arrive in time for the IAA (Frankfurt International Motor Show). The cars, with a team of engineers, will travel through the Gobi Desert of northern China to arrive in Kazakhstan at the end of July.

It will then enter Russia, passing through Moscow and St Petersburg before entering Europe through Finland. The northernmost leg of the drive takes the prototypes above the Gulf of Bothnia, with scheduled stops in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, before entering Germany. Once in western Europe, the cars will also visit Amsterdam, Paris and Zurich, before a final drive over the Alps and back into Germany. The journey will end in front of the Frankfurt exhibition halls during the first week of September, shortly before the IAA 2019.

Alexander Klose, executive vice-president overseas operation at Aiways, said: “This unprecedented drive presents a unique chance to validate and fine-tune key aspects of the U5, from powertrain characteristics to the durability of thousands of components. By traversing thousands of kilometers in some truly challenging conditions we will demonstrate how simple and easy EV ownership can be for today’s car buyers.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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