Cheap Electric Companies Near Me - Some readers may remember buying a cheap electric mini truck on Alibaba a few months ago. I know this because I've been getting emails since that day asking if my Chinese electric pickup truck (some jokingly called it my F-50) had arrived. Well, now I can finally answer, "Yes!" I will share with you what I got.
I first came across the truck while browsing Alibaba in search of a weekly nugget for my awesome Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week article.
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I found a $2,000 electric truck that seemed perfect except for the 2:3. It was going 25 mph. And there was only a 3 kW motor. You had to pay extra for batteries, shipping costs etc.
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But when he covered all those obstacles, the truck looked like fun. Although it was a little small, the charm was overwhelming. So I started talking to the trading company (a small outfit called Sangley that also supplies some importers in the US).
We were able to spec the truck with a hydraulic dump bed, air conditioning and a large (for this small truck) 6 kWh lithium ion battery.
Those upgrades cost about $1,500 on top of the base price, and I had to pay an outrageous $2,200 shipping fee, but at least my truck is coming to me now.
The shipping process seemed to take forever. All went well at first and a few weeks later my truck was on its way to port. It stayed for a few more weeks until it arrived in a container and on a boat, and six weeks later the boat arrived in Miami. The only problem is that my truck is no longer in it. No one knew where it was going, I called the shipping company, the logistics company, my customs agent and the Chinese trading company for days. No one could explain it.
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Finally, the shipper's Chinese trading company heard from them that my container had been unloaded in South Korea and put on a second container ship - the water at the port was not deep enough.
Long story short, the truck finally arrived in Miami, but was then held up by customs for a few weeks. When it finally got on the other side of customs, I paid an extra $500 to a guy I found on Craigslist, and he towed the crated truck on a big flatbed trailer to my parents' Florida property, the new house. There will be a truck.
The cage it was shipped in was a hell of a ride, but the truck held up amazingly well. There I took the truck out of the box and pre-charged my angle grinder for this process. In the end, unboxing went well with only a few hiccups that I captured on video with my first test drives (of course my father and wife, who were there to see the show unfold, gave it a quick test).
I was actually surprised that the truck was in such good condition after such a long trip around the world. I think preparing myself for a wrecked truck helped me keep my expectations low, so I was shocked when the truck arrived with almost no dents.
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Although the 3kW motor and 5.4kW peak controller provided slow speeds for pulling around my parents' property, it wasn't particularly powerful. Top speed is only 40 km/h, but I rarely reach that speed on the uneven terrain around the fields - and it's soon.
The dump bed is great and I've already put it to good use collecting waste on the ground and hauling it back to the dump.
The truck is surprisingly well built in some ways. It has full metal body panels, power windows and key fob for locking doors and complete lighting package with turn signals, headlights, spot lights, taillights, reversing lights etc. There is a rear view camera, steel luggage rack and bed. rack, powerful charger, windshield wipers with washer fluid, and air conditioning is very powerful (tested in hot, humid Florida).
I can connect my phone via Bluetooth and play music or movies on the infotainment system.
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The whole could be a little more rust free as I can already see rust in a few places after months of sea travel.
It's definitely not a golf cart - it's a fully enclosed vehicle, albeit a slow one. I rode mostly off-road due to the rough suspension, although I didn't get close to 40kmh, although I did ride a bit of road to check the speed, it was almost exactly the promised 25mph.
Unfortunately, these ChangLi cars and trucks are not street legal, and neither are China-made electric vehicles (NEVs) or low-speed vehicles (LSVs).
The problem is that these 25 mph EVs are in a federally recognized motor vehicle class (LSV) and believe it or not there are actual federal motor vehicle safety standards that apply.
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I always thought that NEVs and LSVs were street legal as long as they went 25 mph and had equipment like blinders, seat belts etc. Unfortunately that is not true. should be
Cars must meet a long list of requirements, including DOT parts, to actually be street legal. Glass must come from DOT registered glass factories, backup camera must come from DOT registered backup camera factories.
Even if the cars have all the required DOT parts, the factory that manufactures them in China must also be registered with the NHTSA. While there are already some American companies that import these into the US and falsely claim that some of the cars are street legal as they go 40 mph, the sad truth is that these cars cannot actually be registered or taken off the road. . It would take a huge effort to manufacture it in the US or build a DOT compliant and NHTSA registered factory in China. This explains why a Polaris GEM traveling at 25 mph costs $15,000 with lead-acid batteries and no doors or windows!
You can often see these things on Alibaba and other Chinese shopping sites for $2,000 or more. The actual costs are actually much higher. As I mentioned, I immediately had to add $1,000 for the larger battery, $500 for the upgrades I chose, and $2,200 for ocean shipping.
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On the US side, we had to add another $1,000 in import duties and brokerage fees and some arrival fees. In the end I ended up north of $7,000 for the total kit and caboodle. It was definitely more than I expected. When I placed the order, I expected to get away with $6,000 in damages.
While some might call the final price a rip-off, consider the alternative. A crappy golf cart with flooded lead-acid batteries starts at around $6,000 today. A semi-decent one is $8k. Very good ones in the $10-12k range. Even then you only have a golf cart. It's not fenced, which means it gets rained on. No air conditioning. No windshield wipers. No closing doors. No windows (electric or otherwise). No adjustable bucket seats. No infotainment system. No sunroof. No truck bed with hydraulic dump etc.
While some may think of it as a glorified golf cart (and I have to admit they have somewhat of a point), it's cheaper than a golf cart and more comfortable in use than you'll ever get with a golf. carriage.
Even though the truck isn't street legal, I'm fine with it. I didn't get it for that purpose, and it doesn't have the safety equipment that would make me comfortable using it in transit anyway.
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Instead, it's a work truck. I use it (or my parents use it more than me) as a farm truck on their property. It's already proven great for that task in the first few days I've done it. We've used it on the ground to collect fallen limbs and debris, haul moving boxes and belongings around the property, and have fun checking in on the neighbors!
It definitely beats a gas-powered UTV because I don't have to fill it up or choke on the exhaust. The same goes for buying an old gas tanker – I love my little EV that can do everything I need in this space.
Now I'm excited
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