Ford Model T Electric Knockoff
Most of the fun and wacky EVs that I discover while wasting time browsing the endless creative abyss that is the Alibaba shopping site are of the ultra modern variety. But every now and then, something decidedly vintage catches my eye, as it did with this funny little electric car that seems heavily inspired by the original Ford Model T. And luckily for any random factory that seems to hawk this hot mess, it tickled my fancy enough to land it a coveted spot as the Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week!
This isn’t exactly the first vintage-style electric car to throw my hand starter.
I came across other hidden EVs gems, such as a distinctly debonair British roadster and a quaint horseless electric car fit for Cinderella herself.
But none of these would have one of America’s most famous fanatics, Henry Ford, turning in his grave more than this awesome little electric knockoff of the Model T.
It may not have the same giant wagon wheels or it may leak as much (or all) oil like the original, but damn it if it doesn’t have any charm to spare.
Driving at its top speed of 30 km / h (19 mph), it is only half as fast as the original. It also balances a third of the power of the stock engine, with just a modest 5kW electric motor on its rear axle.
So horses for horses, I’m going to take that as a victory for the Chinese version here.
It doesn’t quite match the range of the original T Model, as the imitation T only contains a 7.2 kWh battery which is sufficient for 100 km (62 mi) per charge. The good news is that it will make those kilometers without vibrating or shaking its occupants until the contents of their wallet are lost in the upholstery.
These batteries are also lead acid instead of lithium ion which I can only assume is a throwback to the old car days. The original Model T debuted just over a century ago, and this lead-acid battery technology is definitely okay.
But while this imitation doesn’t really excite the senses with its power, speed, or range, it makes up for it with class.
Check out this gold-plated (or more likely painted gold) trim and sleek soft top. And take a look at those chunky headlamps on the back when the glass shielded a real oil flame. It even has the old-fashioned foldable windshield and a spare tire. You probably wouldn’t even need a jack to change a tire – just grab a fender and lift a corner of the car.
I also like that smooth wooden dashboard and giant steering wheel, which comes with power steering. This thing actually looks pretty darn well equipped. I can’t speak for the quality, of course. This sheet might be thinner than paper as far as we know. But it really looks like the game!
These things are surely meant for novelty purposes like rental rides in the park or birthday parties. But that’s not how I would use one.
Imagine the look you would have while driving this car to the cafe. Or buy a few gallons of paint from Home Depot.
Anyone with the money can have a luxury Ferrari or a raised truck. Driving one of these bad boys around town takes a certain amount of courage and an obvious failure to kick things up the road other people are thinking.
And as the sales page on Alibaba tells me, it also takes $ 6,300 smackeroonies. Fortunately, the seller only requires a minimum order quantity of one unit.
Booking a $ 20,000 sea container is going to be the trickiest part …
FTC: We use automatic affiliate links which generate income. Following.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.