I know you’re doing critically important things right now, but I’d like to put a stop to that, just for a while. So, hang up that phone, put down that scalpel, let go of that control yoke, and drop that cutting torch, because we’re going to browse some weird cars on a vast, strange website.
If you search on Alibaba for “cars” or “automobiles” you get, aside from the off-brand car parts and toys and complicated-looking head units, a surprising number of actual, drivable cars.
Many of these fit into China’s low-speed electric vehicle class, and most should fit into the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) class in the U.S., which means there’s cars here you actually could drive on regular, public streets. Well, at 25 MPH or less.
Still, there’s a lot of options. And there’s ‘real’ cars, too, fullsize trucks you can somehow order and have delivered. In America, you couldn’t register them, unless you’re really sneaky, somehow. There’s also three-wheeled vehicles that can be registered as motorcycles in the U.S., so you could potentially drive those, as well.
So, here’s the challenge: what would you buy?
To get you started, here’s a few interesting things:
Want a tiny cop car for about a grand? Looks like you can have one, for capturing all those very slim criminals. It seems to use a 50cc gas motor, which may mean you can register it as a motorbike, or something.
Want to start a very slow but stylish food truck? For about $10,000, you can get a pretty convincing-looking electric Citroën H-van, ready to be used as a food truck, complete with what looks to be a stove and sink and counter space. I mean, how fast does a food truck have to be?
Look, if you’re going to drive a 25 MPH glorified golf cart around your neighborhood, why not really maximize the “glorified” part? Why should you be some chump in a GEM that just makes you look like you’re an escaped groundskeeper from some community college?
For even less money (about $5400 to start) you could be cruising around in this sweet chariot, which looks like a black cherry mated with an MG TC and a golf cart in a disgusting, hot three-way.
Need a tiny electric car that combines tough and cute, in equally heaping doses? You’re in luck! For between $3500-$4200 you can tool around in one of these, with a rear-view camera and an air-conditioner, and even a “car DVR” which I think means integrated dashcam, which should make you wonder why that’s not more common on real cars.
It’s $1890 for a four-door electric city car. Why blow all your money on a Leaf, which has two less doors and doesn’t even look as slick?
The price on this one has a huge range—$1900 to $15,000 per car, and I guess that’s based on volume? Still, from a distance it seems like an actual, normal car. Almost like a shrunken, electric Escalade!
A full-size, gas-engined, double-cab pickup for $9350. Maybe you could register it in Montana, or something like that.
Looks like someone out there is making electric versions of old cabover trucks and knockoff microbuses! For $5000?
There’s all sorts of crazy stuff here. Look around, and show me in the comments what you’re having delivered. Knock yourself out.