Shanghai-based personal mobility provider, Aiways, has completed three months of grueling winter testing on its next model, the U6 SUV-Coupé. The comprehensive engineering exercise examined the performance of the battery-electric vehicle in extreme cold, including scrutiny of the power, steering, braking, suspension and electrical systems and a 15,000-kilometer endurance drive in temperatures below minus 30 degrees Celsius.
Testing took place in Heihe, in the northeastern Heilongjiang province of China, which offered a range of demanding roads and extreme winter weather. Based near the foothills of the Lesser Khingan Mountains, this location afforded Aiways engineers’ access to winding alpine routes, fast straights and city driving to put the U6 SUV-Coupé through challenging real-world driving experiences in the most intense conditions.
Dr. Alexander Klose, Vice President of Overseas Operations at Aiways, said: “Aiways’ European journey is just beginning. With the introduction of the U5 SUV in 2020, Aiways became the first Chinese automaker to bring an EV to Europe. We are now ready to follow that success with another compelling product that delivers on our brand ambitions. The new U6 SUV-Coupé marks the next stage in the company’s growth, and engineering tests like this ensure that our vehicles can compete on the international stage.
“The customer is at the heart of everything we do, and the winter testing of Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé focuses on three of the most important areas for the customer – usability, reliability, and quality.”
Reliability is a crucial factor for battery electric vehicle performance in cold conditions, and during winter testing, the Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé was left for prolonged periods in extreme cold to monitor its cold-start and low-temperature charging capabilities. The vehicle utilizes a Battery Management System (BMS) with thermal control to deliver optimal battery performance even in such harsh winter conditions. It recovers waste heat from the electric motor to warm the cabin, reducing strain on the battery and preserving range while also ensuring user comfort.
Extreme cold impacts more than just battery performance, and Aiways’ engineers paid particular attention to the durability of electric circuits, heating and air-conditioning systems, paint finishes and window seals during testing. The Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé performed well in each test, meeting the high standards expected and ensuring excellent product reliability.
Reduced traction from ice and snow highlighted the importance of vehicle control and stability systems and allowed the engineers to focus on the vehicle’s safety systems. The new model’s Electronic Stability Program (ESP) was tested and fine-tuned on various low-traction surfaces during acceleration, deceleration and cornering. Handling capabilities were comparatively assessed using five mainstream winter tires to further enhance performance in real-world conditions. ESP calibration will continue to form part of the next phase in Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé development alongside adjustments to the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Traction Control System (TCS).
User convenience is at the forefront of Aiways product development, and every element of winter testing aims to deliver an outstanding user experience for future owners of the new Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé. Improved charging speeds, prolonged battery life, and excellent range are crucial factors when using a battery-electric vehicle, and this strong performance in all elements of the winter test illustrates Aiways’ technical expertise.
Winter testing is just one phase in the development of Aiways’ products. The U6 SUV-Coupé has already undergone strict testing in other harsh natural environments to perfect numerous vital functions such as water management and electromagnetic compatibility.
The U6 SUV-Coupé will go on sale in Aiways’ domestic and international markets in Q3 of 2022 with the aim of attracting more people to eco-mobility with its stand-out styling, high-tech interior and competitive price.