Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week: This 12-seater ‘vintage’ electric car

Sometimes you want a fast car for going out. Sometimes you want a big car for showing off. But sometimes, just sometimes, you need something totally different for standing out. And I think this 12-seater electric car-shaped thing might be just the ticket. It’s certainly deserving of this week’s entry in the Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week. Now let’s see why.

At over 20 feet long (6.2 meters, to be exact), no one is buying a car like this for its nimbleness.

It’s practically a giant phone booth turned on its side with a few wheels added for good measure.

But damn if it doesn’t have charm, eh?

There’s simply something awesome about having the car that Scrooge McDuck would have driven if he had a Dugger family of nephews to ferry around.

Just look at those giant fenders, the old-school headlights and the silver (or gold, depending on the model!) trim. Check out the bountiful sliding windows in the full glass doors. There’s even a spare tire in that continental kit on back. This thing has it all, baby!

Well, everything except doors. I’m not sure where the driver or anyone else enters the vehicle. Unless, wait a minute. Are those… all doors? Yes, I think everyone gets their own door on this rolling vintage aquarium.

It even claims to have a sunroof, though the sales page doesn’t have any photos of the top to confirm it. But by the looks of things, it probably has 20 sunroofs. Or maybe you just take the roof off.

The 48V and 380A controller seems way overspecced for this funwagon, putting out a peak of 18.2 kW or around 24 horsepower. I guess getting 12 people up an incline is going to require some wattage.

Compared to most of the underpowered electric cars I’ve found on Alibaba, this thing is practically a hotrod. Or at least a hotrod all the way up to its 15 mph (25 km/h) top speed.

That speed is probably appropriate though, as this is really more of a parade car or a hotel shuttle than something you’d conceivably drive your 12 kids around in. Unless maybe some religious cult did a group buy to outfit all of their followers with their sprawling families. You could really haul a pile of sect members around a desert compound nicely in one of these.

What impresses me more is the range, which is rated at 50-62 miles (80-100 km). Assuming that’s at “top” 15 mph speed, we’re looking at 3-4 hours of run time. And considering we’ve got more surface area on top than a Florida parking space, I imagine loading that thing up with cheap solar panels could just about give it infinite 15 mph range. Though those dozen or so sunroofs are going to become innocent casualties of a hostile solar panel takeover.

If I’m a reasonable shopper looking for the right 12-passenger vintage-style electric car for me, I’m going to want to make sure I’m getting my money’s worth. And for a price of $6,500, I just don’t know if the value proposition is quite there yet.

Though if I were to use it as an Uber XL around the Villages, now that might be something worth investing in. Hopefully my fares would forgive the 15 mph speed in exchange for getting an uncomfortable and dangerous ride. Though I guess that’s the same as every other Uber experience in Manhattan these days, so why not?

A fat wad of $6.5k can net you a lot on Alibaba, and this might be one of the more unique options yet, especially if I’m in the slow wedding procession business. And I guess if I had six G’s to blow on the site, it’d probably be either this or a handful of duck-shaped electric boats.

This is going to be a hard decision.

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Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd, and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power, The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide and The Electric Bike Manifesto.

The e-bikes that make up Micah’s current daily drivers are the $999 Lectric XP 2.0, the $1,095 Ride1Up Roadster V2, the $1,199 Rad Power Bikes RadMission, and the $3,299 Priority Current. But it’s a pretty evolving list these days.

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