What happened: Aiways, a four-year-old Shanghai-based EV company, recently told Quartz it plans to start selling its U5 flagship SUV in Germany, France, Switzerland, Norway, and the Netherlands in early 2020. The move would make it the first Chinese EV company to offer its vehicles in Europe. According to Quartz, Aiways plans to sell the U5 directly to customers, and is exploring a partnership with German startup Vehiculum for lease options. The U5 will begin production for China’s domestic market in September.
Why it’s important: Aiways won’t be the only company looking to enter the European market in 2020, Geely’s Lynk & Co is aiming to launch its car subscription service in Europe sometime next year. And as 2018’s fastest-growing car brand with more than 120,000 vehicles sold, Geely seems to have a considerable advantage over Aiways, which only recently secured a license to start manufacturing its flagship U5. Regardless, EV sales have grown in China despite a slowdown in overall auto sales, and as the trade war rages on, the European market could be a solid alternative to the U.S.