There are few things more fun than hitting the water with your friends on Sunday afternoon, a cooler full of cold brewskies, and a smile on everyone’s faces. But then again, few things can bring the floating party to an end quicker than the sound of a sputtering outboard engine as you hand out paddles to your buddies. So to avoid that little snafu altogether, why not hop aboard one of Alibaba’s finest electric boats for a silent cruise across your local waterway? And instead of worrying about how much range you have, you can kick back and relax while the sun recharges your batteries for free!
This column usually finds me cracking jokes about the wacky electric vehicles we tend to find on China’s biggest shopping site Alibaba, also known around these parts as the kitchen junk drawer of oddball electric vehicle designs.
But this time I’m pretty darn enamored with what I’ve managed to trawl up from the depths of the mysterious online shopping catalog. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to present my latest find as this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week.
Now, I’m not saying this hot-tub-turned-pleasure-craft is going to pass any Coast Guard seaworthiness inspections.
But if a giant bathtub is designed to keep water in, then it stands to reason that it should at least do a decent job of keeping water out as well.
The design is… shall we say, “creative”?
The floating jacuzzi seems to have four seats arranged in a speed dating setup. There’s just enough room across from the seats to awkwardly fight with your partner over foot space.
The center console can be shared by either of the two forward-facing occupants. And if bobbing around in an oversized gravy boat wasn’t enough to turn you green already, the backward-facing seats could likely finish the job.
The real beauty here though is the solar panel canopy, which does double duty for blocking the sun’s rays from reaching your fragile skin and also absorbing the sun’s energy to convert it into propulsion for the electric motor.
There appears to be both a 300W and 400W solar panel version, depending how you’d like to set up your array. Considering there’s no storage of paddles on this pleasure cruiser, I might suggest maxing it out with the 400W option. Everyone dipping a hand over the side to pull water in the direction of the shore isn’t going to cement any lasting friendships or budding romances.
There doesn’t appear to be any storage for life jackets either, so the manufacturer seems to be pretty confident in this thing staying largely above the waterline.
Considering some of the past electric watercraft I’ve covered in this column, staying above the waterline is already a win in my book.
I’m not sure this is the most confidence-inspiring electric boat I’ve ever seen, but it sure is priced to sell.
At just $4,999, this thing is practically a party favor. Though there’s a minimum order quantity of two, so you may be going in with your buddy on this one.
Or perhaps you can just put your name down for two units by yourself. That way, when your partner inevitably ditches you for thinking this was a good idea, you’ll each get one in the divorce!
Speaking of which, my wife has been particularly understanding of my past Alibaba indiscretions, having purchased my fair share of awesomely weird electric vehicles from the other side of the world. But I don’t think I’m going to risk it on this one.
But if you want to window shop along with me at some of the wackier EVs I’ve found on China’s most eccentric shopping platform, check out some of these past treasures in my constantly updating list of keepers.
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