Chinese Electric Car Test Short-Circuited By Cops

What could be the next great leap forward in Chinese automotive production was recently brought to a temporary halt after this minimalist tube-framed electric car was pulled over for driving without license plates.

This bare-bones (literally) prototype got nabbed in in Jiang Ning City by cops who were doubtless curious about the allegedly speedy little car, which lacks bodywork, a windshield, a normal engine, and (most importantly) registration. After a bout of questioning and an inspection at the police station, the driver was warned to get the creation licensed and then released.

The car is likely a startup company's test vehicle; its owners have recently begun production of an electrically-powered four-seat dune buggy with a retail price of 68,000 CNY (about $10,800 in Yankee dollars). Low price aside, even from that grainy picture it's obvious that the frame was designed by people who knew what they were doing. That, or it's a new Ariel Atom knock-off.

Given the number of entrepreneurs who may want to jump into the burgeoning Chinese automotive market, authorities may soon need to create a registration category akin to American manufacturer's plates or Italy's well-known "Prova" tags.

Photo Credit: China Car Times

(Hat tip to idm3!)