Chinese marketplace Alibaba is known for being a place where you can buy just about anything, and electric vehicles are no exception. But we're not just talking about scooters, which are plentiful — no, Alibaba even has a two-seater, miniature, electric Jeep. Spec it up, pay for shipping, and it can be yours for a mere $1,700.
Adult-sized toy car — On the product page, the vehicle is simply called the "800-1200W Chinese cheap electric mini new cars." But you can clearly see from the pictures that it's modeled after the classic Willys Jeep from WWII. Though this electric variant is quite a bit smaller it's supposed to have an admirable max load of 507 pounds, with a top speed of 25 mph. It's basically a golf cart with a Jeep body, though it nonetheless looks like it would be a riot to cruise around in.
Buy in bulk and save — The electric Jeep was first reported on by Electrek, which spoke to the manufacturer's sales rep about pricing. The cheapest model costs $890, but that variant comes with a lead-acid battery. If you want a lithium-ion battery with a range of 50 miles, that's going to cost you $1,280. Other upgrades include seat belts and leather seats — $70 each — and a rear bumper with a tow hitch that goes for $35.
There's also an understandably large price for shipping. Unless you're ordering more than one, it'll cost you $200 to have the Jeep shipped. It will arrive at a U.S. port via ship, and the journey is expected to take roughly 37 days.
In case you're wondering about the build quality, last year, Jalopnik bought a $900 pickup truck on Alibaba and was impressed by how much car it got for the money... and its solid finishing touches. We still wouldn't want to get into a crash in any of these budget vehicles, though, especially considering American consumers' fondness for massive trucks like Ford's F-150.
China's tiny cars — China sells more electric vehicles than the rest of the world combined, and tiny cars are actually one of the hotter categories. They can cost under $1,000 but, like the mini Jeep, they have their downsides: they're slow, often run on polluting lead batteries, and they have little crash protection. Still, there's no regulation of tiny cars in China so they've quickly replaced low-speed electric vehicles, like electric bikes, that are popular in the country. General Motors actually sells a $5,000 tiny car in China that is the most popular EV there.
Here in the U.S., these sorts of vehicles are subject to regulation, meaning you likely aren't going to be allowed to drive the tiny Jeep on public roads. But we could imagine other use cases, like driving to your mailbox... or hooking up a wagon to the back to carry things around on a farm.