Chinese EV startup Aiways announced on Wednesday a partnership with Italian vehicle importer Koelliker Group to tap into the Italian market, with plans to launch the Aiways U5 there this year.

This means that after France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark, Aiways is expanding its business to Southern Europe and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) market.

The Italian pure electric vehicle market is growing rapidly and is expected to continue to grow by 100 percent in 2021, with pure electric SUVs accounting for approximately 15 percent of the pure electric market share, according to JATO, an automotive industry information consultancy.

The Italian government launched new energy vehicle purchase subsidies of up to 8,000 euros ($9733.6), surpassing Germany and France subsidy efforts. It also invested 750 million euros to build more than 20,000 fast charging stations, prompting local production and sales of new energy vehicles to the forefront of Europe.

Koelliker has sold more than 2 million vehicles for foreign brands since its founding in 1936.

Koelliker will present two European versions of the Aiways U5 at the Milano Monza Auto Show on June 10, which will also mark the Italian debut of the Aiways U5.

Aiways has exported more than 2,500 Aiways U5 models since it began exporting vehicles to Europe a year ago.

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(Source: Aiways)