Earlier known for its home appliances, Skyworth has become the first Chinese company to sell electric passenger cars in the United States market, according to Car News China. Using the Skywell brand and entering the US market as the Imperium Motor Company, the vehicle is known as the Skywell Imperium ET5.

In Europe, the Imperium ET5 is also present in the German market as the Elaris Beo, where specifications include a 72 kWh lithium-ion battery supplying a drive motor output of 204 PS. In European terms, the Elaris Beo is rated to have a range of 460 km on the WLTP testing cycle, and measures 4,698 mm long, 1,908 mm wide, 1,696 mm tall and a wheelbase of 2,800 mm.

European specifications for the Elaris Beo – and therefore the ET5 – state that DC charging from 20% to 80% takes 30 minutes, or seven hours via 11 kW AC charging. The charging cable used is a Type 2 to Type 2 connection.

According to the Skyworth website, active safety equipment the ET5 SUV includes full-speed range adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, integrated cruise assist, hill start assist, speed limit recognition, an automatic parking function, reversing camera, 360-degree view camera and adaptive high beam.

In Elaris Beo form, rolling stock includes 19-inch light-alloy wheels shod in 235/50 tyres, further equipped with laser headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED tail lights, fog lights, auto folding and heated adjustable exterior mirrors, powered windows with anti-pinch function, central locking and smart entry with keyless start.

Interior conveniences include four-zone automatic climate control, a 12.3-inch LCD driver instrument display, a 12.8-inch infotainment touchscreen with voice command, an eight-speaker surround sound system, four USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity and a leather multifunction steering wheel.

Interior upholstery comes in leather while the driver’s seat features electric height adjustment, with heating for both driver and front passenger seats. The rear seats are comprised of a 60:40 split-folding bench, and the outer rea seats have Isofix child seats anchor points.

Other features include inductive mobile phone charging, ambient lighting, a 220-volt power supply, PM2.5 air filtration, privacy glass for the rear windows, self-dimming mirrors and a panoramic glass roof.

In May, the ET5 was shown on the Imperium Motor Company’s Facebook page as available for reservation from US$29,990 (RM124,617) for the LV0 variant with 406 km of range, and US$39,990 (RM166,150) for the LV2 variant with 517 km of range; pricing is now “to be announced” on the Imperium website. In Europe, the equivalent Elaris Beo in on sale from 41,330 euros (RM203,905) after local incentives.