Let’s say that you’ve decided the time is right for you to make the leap to an electric car, and let’s also say you have a damp paper bag full of $35,000 to spend. There’s a number of options out there, but I’d like to focus on the two most commonly cross-searched options. Should you buy a Tesla Model 3 or 20 of these weird Chinese no-name EVs that look a bit like shrunken Ford Raptors from Alibaba? It’s not an easy choice, but I’m here to help.
There’s actually a strangely topical angle to this comparison as well: just a couple days ago, the head of Alibaba, Jack Ma, debated Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the World AI Conference in Shanghai. In case that bit of Alibaba vs. Tesla action wasn’t enough for you, I’m happy to provide you with this.
Let’s look at our contenders here: most people are familiar with the Tesla Model 3, a sleek four-door electric sedan with about 258 horsepower and a range of around 220 miles. In its Standard Range form, it’s the closest one to $35,000.
The Alibaba car seems to be a Furkika Fur-RAPTOR, and is a boxy, small, four-door SUV-like vehicle with a front-end design that seems to deliberately ape that of the Ford F-150 Raptor:
For some reason, many of the pictures of these also have “Jeep Electric Vehicle” on their sides, even though they have absolutely nothing to do with Jeeps at all. The Fur-RAPTOR has a 1200W motor, which I think comes to around—can this be right?—under two horsepower or so? I’m not certain, but it’s not that much.
Still, it can get up to about 22 mph and while the exact range isn’t given, it’s got a 53 amp hour battery. A Tesla Model 3 has a battery with over 200 amp hours, but it’s got many more demands on it, so let’s make an educated guess here: if higher-cost Chinese low-speed electric vehicles have an average range of about 75 miles, let’s say this cheap one has a range of 50 miles or so.
And this thing is cheap: $1,650 gets you one, which is why we’re able to get 20 and still be well within our $35,000 budget.
So, let’s see which is the better choice: one Tesla Model 3 or 20 Furkika Fur-RAPTORs? Let’s find out!
Holy crap, look at that, a draw! That’s actually great news, because it means you just can’t go wrong, no matter what you do: famous premium status-EV or a fleet of strange little semi-knockoff electric monsters!
What a glorious age we live in.