With the testimony of Gaëtan Montoisis, we benefit from the perspective of a Belgian motorist on a Chinese Aiways U5 SUV and on a charging network to travel around France.
For 33,000 euros, Gaëtan Montoisis bought an Aiways U5 with 3,000 km of watch in early February last year. Special introductory offer for which he did not receive purchase assistance. It does not exist in Belgium. By comparison, Car East charged € 39,700 for the same offer in France. That’s $ 6,700 more, but with the option of deducting the € 7,000 bonus at the time: here’s a difference that corresponds to something close to this national premium!
In our first life, the electric SUV of our witness was part of a set that Hertz offered for rent in Corsica last summer. ” I have driven 20,000 km behind the wheel of this car. I occasionally come to France with her. So, to get to Casteljaloux, I drove 980 km one way and that much back [NDLR : Dans le Lot-et-Garonne, 55 km à l’ouest d’Agen environ par la A62]. I also went to Disney in Marne-la-Vallée », Launched by our interlocutor.
« I also walk 400 km to the sea in Belgium. The rest of the time, the Aiways U5 is used for everyday travels, ”he adds.
3. electric car
If Gaëtan Montoisis finds it interesting on his Chinese electric SUV, it’s also because he already had two electric cars: the Tesla Model 3 and the Kia e-Niro.
« There were two troublesome cars. The worst was with the Tesla Model 3 long-distance drive. I had several problems with it: a short circuit on the built-in charger, a cardan shaft, a poorly assembled windshield, exploded rivets on the tailgate, and so on. The bugs were fixed, but I had to take my Model 3 to a service center five times in 6 months », He explains.
« For the Kia e-Niro, what bothered me the most was the unintentional restart of charging after the app stopped it. Vendors questioned my home installation, the Tesla charging station. He asked me for $ 600 to fix this with their equipment! », I did not appreciate our interlocutor.
« Ma 3e the electric car is right for me. It’s not perfect, I know, but at least I can easily climb it, drive it, even charge it at the Tesla terminal. I didn’t have to return it due to a malfunction or error that would have blocked me. I will advise her accompanied “, He assures us.
I like that it’s a new unknown model, exotic
« I really like this car. I like its design, interior and exterior presentation. I’m also glad it’s a new, unknown, exotic model. By choosing U5, I will monitor and support the development of the Aiways brand », Ceni Gaëtana Montoisisa.
« The interior is very bright with its bright colors, although my U5 doesn’t have a glass roof. It may be messy, but the materials show no signs of premature wear. In terms of build quality, we are probably not at the level of the Kia e-Niro, but on the other hand, it is much better than the Tesla Model 3 », Displays-t-il.
Behind the wheel is a triptych-shaped screen. ” The central part is really very good. You can return the information in the form of three different models. I chose the one that looks like a classic meter and allows you to track consumption and regeneration phases. The linear display shows the instrumentation of old Lincoln », Explains Gaëtan Montoisis.
« With the presentation of information and colors, you have the impression that you have an old GPS in front of you, bought on AliExpress for 35 euros. But it works well », He emphasizes. ” There is a lot of information on the left, but the signs are too small. The right part is useless », Moderates.
« A freshly installed ATM is a disaster. It works well in a stationary position. But he loses the signal while driving. I prefer to use Apple CarPlay all over the world », Our interlocutor recommends.
Two major mistakes that can be avoided
And the main mistakes? ” Driving aids cannot be used on the Aiways U5. I’m going very well. There is a kind of neutral point in the steering wheel that is shown floating so that the vehicle fits between the two rows of the queue. Therefore, it needs to be held well, making the maintenance device in the queue unnecessary. Front obstacle detection does not work better », Describes Gaëtan Montoisis.
« By regenerating levels 2 and 3, U5 accelerates or decelerates. So I only use level 1, which leaves the vehicle ashore when you take your foot off the accelerator pedal. On the other hand, when the brake pedal is depressed, deceleration is first performed by regeneration. If you press harder, the jaws start and you hear them », Schematizes.
Behavior and consumption on the road
« In addition to the original tires, which are not too good in the rain, the U5’s behavior on the highway is very healthy. The vehicle is comfortable, stable, and the airborne noise on the body is very low », Judge Gaëtan Montoisis.
« On the road, the U5 isn’t as dynamic as the Model 3, which really stuck to the asphalt. That’s normal: it’s an SUV. In the city, the dimensions of the two models are the same. The U5 is even a few inches shorter. Its size is not very disturbing, especially since I live in a rural environment “, He assures us.
« To get to my job, my trip comprises 20km of highway and 40km of side roads. In these conditions, Aiways consumes 15-18 kWh / 100 km in summer and 20-22 kWh / 100 km in winter. The average on the highway is 23 kWh / 100 km. For 3000 km of travel in France, we reached 19.9 kWh / 100 km “, He notes.
Easy charging with Ionity
« Charging Ionity is truly peace. I don’t see any problems in this network. Furthermore, I do not understand these discussions, which I consider to be stingy in terms of tariffs for a network that needs to get profitability after large investments. When you charge a little money all year long, is it so inappropriate to pay $ 0.79 a minute 3 or 4 times a year? », Asks Gaëtan Montoisis.
« In France, charging Aiways costs me much less, thanks to the prices per minute and the charging power that the U5 keeps at 90 kW for a long time. In Belgium, it is € 0.79 per kilowatt hour. Above 60 kW of power, the system is more interesting in France Calculates. ” For my 3000 kilometers in France recently, I received 441 kWh from charging stations, including the Ionity. All for 197 euros. That is reasonable », I believe.
« At home, my 19 solar collectors cost me 2.59 euros for a maximum power of 5.8 kW 100 kilometers in the Aiways U5. He adds.
Fill France against Belgium
« Belgian territory is smaller than France. We have less need to recharge along the way. The network density is not necessarily so high. What I have noticed and what I find very important about you is the important presence of terminals 11 and 22 kW in the villages “, Reconciles Gaëtan Montoisis.
« I have sometimes noticed network problems that make some chargers useless. Like with the Marmande, 50 kW DC where I couldn’t identify myself », Conclude.
With Automobile Propre, I would like to thank Gaëtan Montoisis for his very interesting testimony and the speed with which he responded to our request for an interview.
The idea for this interview was born after adding a comment by Gaëtan Montoisis from one of my previous articles. I was particularly interested in how users who appreciate the Aiways U5 deal with two major flaws that I noticed myself after 3 days of testing a similar model from the same source. This is a problem with the operation of regeneration and very poor behavior of the driving aids.
These two anomalies in the press hardly ever come to light. And yet they exist. Proof with this testimony.
As our interlocutor points out, the Aiways U5 is not perfect. And yet I understand very well the attachment he can have to it. In my own experience, I would be willing to accept this vehicle myself, at least for a while. Despite the shortcomings. Because I knew that, like Gaëtan Montoisis, I could get over it. After all, I have generally good memories of my Citroën LHMs! However, a lot can be said about these models!
Why does a Chinese electric SUV look so attractive? Design, inside and out, can trigger love at first sight. And what a feeling of space on board this SUV that has the same footprint as the Tesla Model 3! Sit in the front, then in the back, and you’ll see! And that such a spacious trunk!
Personally, I want one thing: for Aiways to correct the problems mentioned in these cars and allow me to see the progress made. He could then calmly conclude, “This is a very interesting and compelling offer in the electric SUV market.” In the meantime, I wouldn’t dare recommend it to those around me. Like I wouldn’t do for the Citroën XM GPL station wagon, a vehicle that, however, brought me so much satisfaction.
We are all different. The charm that the U5 can show on our interlocutor and myself will not be enough for many motorists with electricity who face the irregularities that are really present on this model.