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We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: electric cars are the future. More OEMs are making significant moves to shift their resources toward producing EVs and hybrids in the future. It will not be long before buying a car that runs exclusively on gasoline is a thing of the past.

EV adoption is already happening today, but one thing that keeps it from picking up at a rapid pace is price. While EVs are more affordable today than they were 10 years ago, there is still room for improvement

New EVs command a price in the $30,000 to $35,000 range in the American market on the low end. Compare that to $16,000 for a 2022 Kia Rio hatchback, and it is clear to see the price gap that EVs need to fill. However, what if we told you that there is an EV out there that costs less than a high-end gaming PC? 

It is called Changli, and it is quickly capturing the attention of automotive influencers.

How much is a Changli electric car?

A two toned blue and black Changli EV
Changli EV in blue | Changli/Alibaba

A Changli electric car costs anywhere between $800 and $1,200, depending on the model chosen. Though that is only part of the price if you live anywhere outside China where the Changli is made and sold. Anyone on the Alibaba website can buy the car. Yes, you can actually buy a car on Alibaba.

Buying the car is only step one. Getting the car here is an entirely different story and will add relatively high costs to the process. Shipping an 800-pound car from China will not be cheap, and then there are various taxes and fees associated with importing a vehicle from another country. When Jason Torchinsky from Jalopnik purchased and imported his Changli to America, the whole process costs him a little over $3,000 by the time he had the EV in his possession.

Still, $3,000 is way less than $30,000, so even with all the extra costs added on, a Changli is vastly less expensive than a Tesla Model 3 or Nissan Leaf. What’s the catch?

Changli EV in white with a roof rack, safari lights, and alloy wheels.
Changli EV in white | Changli/Alibaba

The 2021 Nissan Leaf Is a Low-Budget, High-Safety Option

Unfortunately, the Changli electric car is not street legal in America. As you may imagine, a car that costs less than $1,000 is not equipped with the safety features required for legal road use in America. 

There is also the fact that the Changli is very low-powered and has a top speed of 24 mph. In reality, the Changli is more of a fleshed-out golf cart than a road car. When Torchinsky imported his Changli through Alibaba, he had to sign a document with the DOT promising that he would only use the EV for short-distance recreational purposes. Essentially, you have to promise the DOT that you will not use the Changli for anything more than a golf cart.

Perhaps if these Changli vehicles continue to grow in popularity, it will inspire more companies to build ultra-affordable EVs.