Let’s be honest, here, you knew this was coming. We teased it even and, besides, what’s the point of having the World’s Cheapest Electric Car if you’re not going to take it to the man who’s arguably the world’s leading expert on how much it costs to build cars? There is no point without that, that’s what, so that’s why I trucked 800 or so pounds of Changli all the way to Detroit. I wanted Sandy Munro to get a really good look at the thing and tell me what he thought. And that’s exactly what happened.
Now, the real way to do this would have been to sacrifice the Changli on the altar of curiosity and let the Munro team take it to bits, cutting things in half, stress-testing components, chewing the upholstery, whatever it is they do to suss out the truth of manufactured things.
But, I’ve grown fond of my little Changli, and have more plans for it. Besides, they’re cheap, so they can buy their own damn Changli to tear apart.
Speaking of costs, I know Sandy occasionally, likely due to excitement, referred to the cost of the car as $800. It’s actually about $930, plus about $300 for the batteries, so the car itself can be thought of as $1,200. And, yes, I have the receipts:
Remember as you watch this, Sandy knows his shit. He understands how cars are built and how much it costs better than almost anyone, and he’s pretty genuinely baffled by this thing like we all are.
What’s especially interesting that I didn’t realize is the rubber-based method used to mount the glass and the headlights—it’s almost like a caulk, hand-applied, in a method that works well but seems to be very unfamiliar.
It was hilarious getting this thing on the lift. It’s so small it’s pretty much at the limit of the lift’s adjustment, and while it felt precarious, it was safe enough. I mean, no one got crushed, so that’s a win, right?
It’s worth mentioning that when Sandy talks about the Club Car (a popular golf cart) he’s talking as an insider, as his company did a lot of engineering work for Club Cars. So, the man knows what it takes to build a golf cart, arguably the closest production vehicle to this in America.
Oh, and if you can find a better video of a man being astounded by stainless steel tubes, I’d love to see it.
I don’t think we got complete answers here just yet, but I’m hoping Munro will get one to completely disassemble, and maybe we can learn more. If and when that happens, I’ll be sure to tell you all about it.
Maybe they grow them in pods?