Aiways works with companies across Europe to ensure end-of-life vehicles and batteries are legally taken back and recycled, even in damaged vehicles
Shanghai/Munich – Aiways, the startup company from Shanghai, focuses primarily on sustainability. This goes far beyond the vehicles, but forms a cycle from development to production, the product life cycle to recycling.
The Chinese market currently offers the best environment for the production of battery electric vehicles. Nowhere else in the world can it be produced more locally and with shorter supply chains. In addition, there is the innovative production facility of Aiways, which was built together with Siemens completely according to Industry 4.0 standards and is one of the most modern vehicle production facilities in the world. All process steps have been developed and optimized with regard to environmental compatibility and resource conservation. From the handling of chemicals in the painting process to waste water treatment and frequency optimization in the plant’s internal electricity network – every possible saving was aligned with the company’s “Blue and Green” strategy. “Blue” for state-of-the-art technology and “Green” for little CO2 emissions.
Aiways also goes one step further when it comes to using renewable energies. For example, the solar thermal system of the Aiways Intelligent Factory has an average daily output of 130,000 liters of hot water, which is heated to 48°C and used not only in the production process but also in the administration buildings. There is also a photovoltaic system with an annual output of 16 megawatt hours, which corresponds to the initial charging of over 250,000 Aiways U5 SUVs and Aiways U6 SUV coupés.
Best possible customer support at every point of the vehicle life cycle
In addition to innovative sales models and direct customer contact, Aiways also stands for the best possible support beyond the life cycle of the vehicles. In Europe in particular, battery-powered products are subject to strict controls and tracking, especially electric cars. “Together with strong partners, Aiways ensures that applicable standards and laws are implemented and complied with at all times. This applies not only to the return of end-of-life vehicles, but also to damaged batteries in accident vehicles,” explains Dr. Alexander Klose, Executive Vice President Overseas Operations at Aiways, the range of services of the vehicle recycling company PRIOREC, with which the company has concluded a cooperation agreement for the German market.
The second chance outside of the car: Second Life as sustainable reuse of high-quality drive components
In addition to the cooperation with PRIOREC in Germany, there is another cooperation with Green Vision in France, which is currently in the test phase. The company, with ten years of experience in this field, specializes in the second-life use of high-voltage components from the vehicle industry and not only uses traction batteries, but also uses the motors for various applications.
Four former test vehicles from the pre-series of the Aiways U5 SUV were handed over to Green Vision for this purpose and are now being used as test vehicles for various Second Life projects. On the one hand, the high-voltage battery is to be turned into electrical energy storage (ESS) that can be used, for example, to buffer renewable energies, to increase the degree of self-sufficiency of photovoltaic systems or to stabilize the grid. The second further use relates to the 150-kilowatt drive motor, which is to be used in future in electrically operated sports boats.
Intelligent design of drive components as the key to optimal recycling
Reusing components from battery-powered vehicles is nothing new. However, the advantage of the Aiways MAS platform for Second Life applications lies in the modularity of the components. “The sandwich construction of the battery in particular is perfect for recycling,” explains Yann Lelong, founder of Green Vision. “Thanks to the innovative structure of the Aiways design, you can take out the entire battery pack without much effort, and you can take out the individual modules easily and quickly.”
The advantages also apply to the drive unit, which combines the motor, converter, reduction gear and control unit in one housing. This means that the compact yet powerful component can be used directly in other applications, such as the sports boat tested by Green Vision.
The second life of the main drive components means that the use of resources in the materials used in Aiways vehicles can be significantly improved, which ultimately leads to a sustainable cycle. Aiways would like to research and develop even more intensively in this direction in the future and is open to cooperation requests on this topic.