– Feb. 6th 2021 3:36 am ET
Is there anything more fun than flying through the air in a dune buggy, 80’s music blasting and wild hair blowing in the wind? And what if you didn’t have to fiddle with an annoying engine or strain to hear your rock music over a popping exhaust? Even better, right?! While electric UTVs and dune buggies normally cost a premium over their gas-powered brethren, I’ve found a pretty darn affordable one for this week’s entry in the Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week series.
It was hard to top the $1,700 half scale electric Jeep from last week, but I think I’ve got something awesome for you guys.
Instead of a measly 25 mph (40 km/h) that the electric Jeep offered, this awesome-looking electric buggy can hit 40 mph (65 km/h).
It hails from the trading company Wuhan AGY Machinery Equipment Co, LTD.
Wait a second. Wuhan? I feel like I know that city from somewhere.
Why does that sound so… familiar?
Oh right, it’s home to the Wuhan Economic and Technological Development Zone, known in part for its automotive production and assembly facilities.
Phew! That was going to bug me if I couldn’t remember it!
Anyway, I’ve been poring through the company’s product line and I think I’ve found a real winner for us today in the GE01 model.
Is it an electric dune buggy? An electric go-kart? UTV? I’m not really sure what you’d call it, but it sure looks like fun!
It sports a 5,000W electric motor in the rear – and judging by the sheer size of it I’d call that the continuous rating. That means it’s likely putting put plenty more power in peak watts.
With a torque rating of 80 Nm, the GE01 electric buggy features a true shaft-drive rear differential that spins the thing up to 40 mph (64 km/h) at full bore.
This isn’t some kid’s toy electric dune buggy on Amazon. This is the real thing.
The two-seater weighs 880 lb (400 kg) and has a maximum payload capacity of 660 lb (300 kg), so it should fit just about any two adults.
It also features all the parts you’d expect from a nice little utility buggy like this, including LED lighting, hydraulic braking, four-wheel independent suspension with long travel hydraulic shocks and even EEC certification for you Europeans. I’m not sure if this thing needs any DOT approval for the US since it’s obviously a purely off-road vehicle, but that’s what the generally lawless US is good for anyways.
A 60V and 50Ah lead-acid battery powers this beast, offering 3 kWh of capacity. To be fair, that’s less battery than I have in my electric moped. But this thing also costs a lot less than my moped too, and surely the cheap lead-acid battery helps keep the cost down.
Speaking of pricing, my new friend/AGY’s sales rep James Gui told me he could have me sitting pretty in my own GE01 electric buggy for the low, low price of $2,800.
Now we’re getting somewhere!
I asked him if he could do a lithium-ion battery upgrade for me, only to be informed that a battery unfortunately wasn’t in the cards for me. But considering I was still going to have to pay to ship this thing to me, I figured I’d better just accept the lead-acid battery and save my nickels for what was sure to be an astronomical freight charge.
To my surprise, James assuaged my fears by quoting me a price of just $390 to my local Miami port. Sweet! Despite this all being a bit of an academic exercise (sorry James!), I found myself once again being tempted into actually buying one of these crazy things.
Think about it: For a grand total of $3,190 (plus quite likely another few ransom payments along the way to various freight forwarders and customs officials), I could have my own 40 mph off-road electric buggy.
The closest options available on the market in the west start at around 5x that price! Even gas buggies are usually more expensive than that!
I’d love an American-made Volcon Stag electric UTV, but sadly I don’t have $14,995 burning a hole in my pocket. So this Wuhan special seems like my cup of tea.
How long would this thing hold up? What would I do for repairs? Who knows!? Those are problems for future Micah to deal with. Right now I’m busy zooming through imaginary trails in my mind, red bandana wrapped around my forehead and Scorpion’s “Rock You Like A Hurricane” blasting in the background.
Am I buying one?
As my regular readers likely already know, this series is a bit tongue-in-cheek. It’s where I try to find hidden gems in one of the coolest EV haystacks on the internet, Alibaba, to share with you all. Because there’s nothing like a $4,000 electric pickup truck to make you say, “Honey, where’s the credit card?!”
The vast majority of the window shopping I do on Alibaba is just that: window shopping for fun. But I’ve also made dozens of purchases on Alibaba, not to mention hundreds of purchases on the more retail-oriented AliExpress platform.
I likely won’t be the proud new owner of a Wuhan AGY GE01 electric UTV/dune buggy any time soon. And this series is not an endorsement of Alibaba or this specific product. If you’re going to make a purchase on Alibaba, you need the right mix of patience, communication skills and courage. They make the platform as safe as possible by holding your money in escrow and mitigating any disagreements with sellers. But I wouldn’t bet the farm on getting exactly what you’re expecting each time.
If you’ve got the spare cash and the time to wait/waste though, Alibaba definitely has a wide selection of awesomely weird electric vehicles for you!
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