Electric vehicles aren’t exactly new technology – they’ve been around essentially since as long as cars have been around. So I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised to find what appears to be a Victorian horseless carriage with a hidden EV drivetrain.
What does surprise me is just how cheap it can be. But of course that’s a running theme on Alibaba, the internet’s backroom storage unit. And with a vehicle this out of the ordinary, you better believe it’s making my Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week series this week!
While it seems a bit silly at first, I think our friends over at Xuchang Hengyisheng Commercial Co., Ltd may be on to something here with this dandiest of urban runabouts.
They realized that if carriages were grand enough 150 years ago, who says they can’t work today?
To be fair, we’ve got everything we need here that you’d find in a modern electric car. There’s seating for four passengers plus a driver, independent suspension, there’s a steering wheel, an optional convertible top, and even a hand brake to match that hydraulic foot brake.
This probably wouldn’t be my first choice for an electric drifting vehicle from Alibaba, but it’s nice to know they give you the option with a hand brake!
Okay, so perhaps it’s a bit spartan compared to a Tesla, but at least this carriage more closely matches something that good ol’ Nikola would have ridden in himself!
The top speed of 30 km/h (18 mph) may not scream performance car, but that 2,000W motor is going to be spinning its copper guts out just to get those giant wheels rolling. And to be frank I’m not sure I want to go much faster than that – partly to give people ample time to check me out and also because I don’t want to find out what happens when the wheels come off at high speed and turn this thing into Santa’s sled instead.
By today’s standards, the five bricks of 12V 80Ah lead acid batteries may sound quaint. But that nearly 5 kWh battery pack would have been delightful back when a dapper carriage like this would have rolled off the lot.
Folks, if we’re not looking at the absolute peak in mid-19th century vehicular design, then I don’t know what else it could be.
The clean white paint job is even nicely embellished with those gold accents to carry Cinderella to the ball in style. Though my publisher is taking bets on whether the gold foil will last all the way to her pickup at midnight.
And if the open top breezy carriage isn’t your style, the vendor has you set with Cinderella’s own enclosed carriage.
Pricing varies based on the exact style of carriage you’re interested in, but starts at a surprisingly reasonable $2,000.
If you’re wondering how they get your new carriage to you, it actually seems to box up nicely.
Or they could put it on a flatbed truck, which creates one of the funniest juxtapositions I’ve seen in a long time.
Wait a second before you click that ‘Buy now’ button
I’ve made plenty of purchases on Alibaba before, but I always advise fellow shoppers to take their time and communicate clearly with vendors. You want to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting. It’d be a shame if your new carriage turned into a pumpkin before you received it.
And of course be prepared for surprises along the journey. Not only could there be unforseen fees during the shipping process, but you could face longer wait times than you expected.
From supply chain issues to some of the largest ships in the world trying to perform a K turn in the middle of the Suez Canal, expect the unexpected.
But if you’re a brave lad and fancy taking a risk, I’ll spend my three fairytale wishes on sending you good luck. Don’t worry about it, I’m happy to help. You can simply repay my kindness by being my fairy godmother and sending me my own carriage too!
And if anyone should get sucked down the Alibaba rabbit hole like I do and find their own awesomely weird electric vehicle on the site, feel free to send me a link – I might just feature it in one of my weekly columns! You can find my contact info in my author bio below.
Lastly, if you enjoyed this week’s entry in the series, then you might want to check out some of the other fun and weird Alibaba EVs I’ve found in previous weeks:
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