Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / World / Europe

China-made electric vehicles unveiled in Geneva

By Angus McNeice in Geneva | China Daily Global | Updated: 2019-03-07 03:20
Share - WeChat
Arcfox unveils its new all-electric SUV from Geneva this week. Angus McNeice / China Daily

Two Chinese automakers made a splash at the Geneva International Motor Show this week where they unveiled a collection of fully electric vehicles that will soon go on sale in Europe.

Luxury electric vehicle brand Arcfox showed off updated versions of two electric supercars and the company also launched a battery-powered SUV called the ECF.

Shanghai-based Aiways also revealed a new electric SUV called the U5 Ion, as well as a robot capable of plugging a charging cable into a vehicle.    

Both the SUVs will soon go on sale in China, and will be made available in Europe by early 2020.

China has a robust electric vehicle market -- around 660,000 electric cars were sold in China in the first three quarters of last year, which represented about half the global total.

More Europeans are now buying electric vehicles – sales were up 42 percent in 2018 on the year before. Last year the number of plug-in vehicles on the streets of Europe surpassed 1 million.

Samuel Fung, president and co-founder of Aiways, said that tight regulations in Europe make it a tough market to crack for overseas automakers.

"Our first step into the global market is Europe," Fung said. "The challenges in the European market are obvious, but if we can make it here we can make it anywhere. We know how to produce a product that is high quality, highly innovative, and our standards are high enough to meet the requirements of the European market."

Fung said that increasingly, both electric and autonomous vehicles will move into mass production.

"Over the last 10 years, we have experienced an incredible change enabled by connectivity, electrification and intelligence," he said. "Just like how mobile phones evolved into smartphones, the age of the automobile will be replaced by a new era of intelligent mobility."

Ken Okuyama, chief advisor of design and art for Aiways, said that Chinese companies are driving development in the electric vehicle industry, which the country supports with subsidies and other incentives.

"Electric vehicle innovation is coming from China, and Aiways is one of the leading companies there," Okuyama said. "The U5 SUV boasts one of the most compact electric power trains in the business."

The U5 is aimed at the general consumer, said Alexander Klose, executive vice-president of overseas operations at Aiways.

"Our cars are not symbols for social status. We provide affordable cars for everybody's daily purposes," said Klose.

As a premium brand, Arcfox's vehicles are high-end. The company was founded by Beijing-based automaker BAIC Group to show the upper limits of what electric cars are capable of in terms of performance. The company's supercar, the Arcfox GT, goes from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 2.59 seconds.

"Arcfox is the beam of light that the BAIC Group presents to the world with its innovation and this beam of light is illuminating the way for us to move forward," said Xu Heyi, chairman of the BAIC Group.

The ECF was created by Walter de Silva, the designer behind some of Alfa Romeo and Lamborghini's most celebrated models.

The car is equipped with Level 3 autonomous driving, which is the highest level currently available in commercial vehicles.

"We want to sell these vehicles in the European market," Xu confirmed. "The SUV will go into the Chinese market first, and then we will enter the European market."

Most Viewed in 24 Hours
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349