The demand for electric pickup trucks is sky-high, with enticing models like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, GMC Hummer EV Pickup, and Tesla Cybertruck. These electric trucks, unfortunately, are expensive and may not be an affordable option for many automotive customers. However, there could be another way for frugal EV truck shoppers. You can order a cheap electric $2,000 mini “F-50” truck from China via the e-commerce site Alibaba, which is the Chinese version of Amazon.
Chinese electric truck that looks like a miniature Ford F-150
The miniature Chinese electric truck is as ridiculous as it sounds. It’s sold on Alibaba by ChangLi, a small Chinese trading company that sells a variety of EV cars and parts, as detailed by Micah Toll on Electrek. The EV truck, listed as ChangLi Model Number CLPK-002 in Alibaba, is around a 2:3 scale, with a face that looks like a rip-off of a Ford F-150. Some readers that asked Toll about the miniature electric truck jokingly refer to it as an “F-50.”
On Alibaba, the mini Chinese EV truck costs $2,112. If you want a fleet of them, you can order five or more and get it for a price of $2,072/unit. Shipping costs extra. Depending on where you live, this will likely add an additional $2,000 or so to the total cost. Also, you can pay more for optional features, such as air conditioning, a hydraulic dumping bed, and a larger battery.
Is it difficult to ship an EV truck from China?
For Toll, shipping the miniature ChangLi electric truck was a painstaking and lengthy process. Early on, the truck was stuck at a port in China for two weeks. From there, the shippers were supposed to transport it via a container ship to Miami, which took six weeks to get there. However, the truck was not on the boat.
Toll made many calls to various brokers along the logistics supply chain, but no one knew what happened to the mini truck. Finally, ChangLi informed Toll that the shippers offloaded the truck in South Korea and then placed it on a second container ship. Eventually, the EV truck arrived in Miami but then customs held it up for another three weeks. From there, Toll hired someone on Craigslist to haul the truck to her parent’s property in Florida.
Specs and capabilities of mini ChangLi electric truck
Don’t expect impressive specs for the mini ChangLi electric truck. With its tiny 3 kW motor, it can reach a top speed of 25 mph (40 kph). It’s not street legal. However, the best use for the truck is as a small utility vehicle for people that have a large property.
According to Toll, the electric truck is better than expected. It’s a working truck and more than just a beefed-up version of an electric golf cart. In particular, Toll found the dump bed of the truck to be very useful, for it is great for collecting and hauling yard waste around the yard.
Toll also stated that the truck is “surprisingly well-made.” It has full-metal body panels, electric windows and doors, a key fob, and a full lighting package. Additional features include steel cargo and bed racks, a backup camera, windshield wipers with washer fluid, a high-power charger, and an infotainment system with Bluetooth capabilities.
Do you want a cheap electric truck with an F-150 face that you can use on your property? You can order one from ChiangLi on Alibaba in China. You’ll probably have to deal with a laborious and lengthy shipping process, but with a little patience, you may be rewarded with a hidden gem.