This EV Is $5,000 Less Than 2021 Nissan Leaf: Would You Buy One?

This is another Chinese candidate for importation into the US. It’s a 2021 Ai Chi U5 and comes with driver-assist features like more expensive vehicles, but is $5,000 less than a Nissan Leaf. With a range of just over 300 miles, it betters many other electric vehicles with this important consideration for EV drivers. If it were available in the US would you buy one?

The Ai Chi U5 is identical to a Toyota Rav4 or Honda CRV in size

2021 Ai Chi U5 on winding road
2021 Ai Chi U5 | Aiways

This isn’t some stripper eco-EV. It comes with a choice of lots of colors and space inside with a wheelbase of slightly more than 110-inches. Overall length is 184-inches so it is identical to a Toyota Rav4 or Honda CRV in size. It features pop-out door handles first seen on Tesla vehicles. Styling is contemporary though we’ve seen those wheels somewhere before. Like, maybe a Jaguar I-Pace? 

Power comes from a 150kW electric motor with 230 lb-ft of torque. It can hit 62 mph in 7.6 seconds which is slightly more than a Nissan Leaf. With an energy consumption of 13.8 kWh per 62 miles, it gives the U5 its advertised 302-mile range. That’s more than twice the range of a new Nissan Leaf in its standard configuration. Fast charge means it will charge up to 80% in 35 minutes. 

Safety and overall technology rival competing EVs

2021 Ai Chi U5 interior
2021 Ai Chi U5 interior | Aiways

Intelligent driving systems include SCC supercruise, ACC full-speed adaptive cruise, APA smart parking, and an L2+ intelligent on two large screens. So it has Face ID face recognition, fatigue detection, and distraction detection with voice warnings, expression recognition, and gaze tracking. This comes from 12 ultrasonic radars, five HD cameras, three-millimeter wave radars, and two interior cameras. All are standard equipment. 

The 2021 Ai Chi U5 is a bit hefty at 3,900 lbs so that 150kW motor will be working. But overall, looks, equipment, and performance track with vehicles costing much more. At $26,500 it is cheaper than a Nissan Leaf by over $5,000. But the Leaf is sold in the US and the 2021 Ai Chi U5 is not. 

If quality and dealer support is good, it will rival most similar EVs

2021 Ai Chi U5 front 3/4 view
2021 Ai Chi U5 | Aiways

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Still, it shows how Chinese EV manufacturers are at least hitting and in many cases surpassing many more expensive EV specs. If the quality and dealer support is good, these will rival most EVs available here now. When these will be certified for sale in the US happens is anybody’s guess. But they’re on the path to take on taking on currently available EVs here and abroad. It will be interesting to see how well they are accepted and how well they really compete.