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Demand for electric pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 Lightning, Rivian R1T, GMC Hummer EV SUT, and Tesla Cybertruck is sky-high. Unfortunately, these big EVs are expensive. However, frugal shoppers might have an alternative. They can order a cheap electric mini “F-50” truck for $2,000 through the e-commerce site Alibaba, China’s version of Amazon.

The Chinese electric truck that looks like a miniature Ford F-150

ChangLi EV mini electric truck China Alibaba
ChangLiEV mini electric truck | ChangLi

The miniature Chinese electric truck is as ridiculous as it sounds. It’s sold by ChangLi, a small Chinese trading company specializing in EVs and parts. The EV, listed as ChangLi Model Number CLPK-002 on Alibaba, is around 2:3 scale, with a face resembling a Ford F-150 ripoff, according to Micah Toll of Electrek. Some readers who asked Toll about the miniature electric truck jokingly called it an “F-50.”

On Alibaba, the mini Chinese electric truck costs $2,112. If you want a fleet, you can order five or more for $2,072 each. Shipping costs extra. Depending on where you live, delivery adds about $2,000 to the total. Also, you can pay more for options like air conditioning, a hydraulic dumping bed, and a larger battery.

In addition, ChangLi sells the truck through its website. However, the list price is $9,999. The company claims the EV’s range is 30 miles on a full charge. Its dimensions are 130 x 53 x 67 inches, and it weighs 551 pounds.

Is it challenging to ship an electric truck from China?

Shipping the miniature ChangLi electric truck was a painstaking and lengthy process for Toll. 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. 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 had happened to the mini truck. Finally, ChangLi informed Toll that the shippers had offloaded the vehicle in South Korea and placed it on a second container ship. Eventually, the EV arrived in Miami, but Customs held it for another three weeks. From there, Toll hired someone on Craigslist to haul the pickup to her parents’ property in Florida.

ChangLi EV specs and features

ChangLi EV electric truck profile view Alibaba China
ChangLiEV mini electric truck | ChangLi

Don’t expect impressive specs with the mini ChangLi electric truck. Packing a tiny 3 kW motor, it can reach a top speed of 28 mph. It’s not street-legal. However, the best use for this truck is as a small utility vehicle on sprawling properties. 

According to Toll, the electric pickup is better than expected. It’s a working truck and more than a beefed-up golf cart. In particular, Toll found the truck’s dump bed highly useful — excellent for collecting and hauling yard waste. 

Toll also said the truck is “surprisingly well-made.” It has full-metal body panels, electric windows and doors, a key fob, and a full lighting package. Other 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. 

In addition, ChangLi says the truck includes the following:

  • LED headlights
  • Crank windows
  • AM/FM radio
  • USB port
  • Heater and sunroof ventilation
  • Spare tire
  • 110-volt charger

Do you want a cheap, utilitarian electric truck that vaguely resembles an F-150? You can order one from ChangLi in China. You’ll probably face a laborious and lengthy shipping process, but with a little patience, you might be rewarded with a hidden gem.