There’s no denying that a pickup truck offers serious utility. Who doesn’t want a cargo bed that you can haul from across the yard into a 2×4? But not everyone needs the excessive size of a specific truck, and thus I can appreciate the beauty of the good ol’ Chevy El Camino and Ford Ranchero. This is a car that pretends to be a truck.
But what if you want a car that only has a small cargo bed? Oh, and you want it to be electric. And cheap as all turn out. Okay so you’ll want to head over to Alibaba and check out the weird little four-wheelers I found for this week’s Weirdest Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicles of the Week.
The car appears to be referred to as “JST” on its product page, where it is referred to as an SUV.
Unless S stands for silly, I’m not sure the classifier is quite right.
The 3.2 m (10′ 6″) long car looks like a hatchback, except it doesn’t have a hatch – or even really a rear. There’s a cargo bed like a pickup truck, but it’s barely a foot tall.
It’s like an oversized glovebox mounted on the rear of the car, as if the car was designed to carry a bag of dog food And all.
The JST car is as small as it is oddly designed, but that’s what I love about it. It looks like a Hotwheels fantasy car, which you can actually buy from China for $7,200.
But let’s not laugh prematurely. Just because the car is in odd proportions doesn’t mean it lacks utility.
The cargo bed is small but fully featured, including an actual tailgate.
Unless you pry the tailgate down, the bed is taller than it used to be. This makes it perfect for carrying tall things, such as a 2×4 by 2 feet tall, instead of a footer.
Or if you have few friends you can use it to tailgate the big game. Maybe some socially distant tailgating, where everyone gets their own personal little car-truck.
I could also see the two-seat JST car as the perfect little grocer for a couple, provided they don’t eat too much.
And keep in mind that it’s not just a small, weird car-truck. it’s a little weird Lightning car-truck.
That means you can ride smoothly knowing that you’re not burning dinosaur oil. In fact, the tiny 7 kWh battery is as small as a light electric motorcycle and can even be charged using solar power if you prefer.
The only problem trying to stack a stack of solar panels in the rear bed could prove to be too much for a driver this small.
At least it will have the power to carry them, eg. A 5 kW (6.7 hp) motor is probably fine for a 680 kg (1,500 lb) vehicle. Normally I’d worry about overloading the car by overfilling the bed, but the JST comes with a convenient anti-overload feature. There just isn’t enough room in the bed for anything too heavy.
It also ensures that you won’t go too wild at the wheel, with a top speed of just 60 km/h (37 mph). With a bit of sloping and praying you can get up to 40 mph, but don’t expect to get anywhere quickly.
Although it is fine by me. With a car that looks so good, I want to roll low and slow to give people what it takes to have a good long look at the future of automotive excellence.
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