I love my wife, but I’ve got a whole section of my heart fully reserved for electric mini-trucks. They live rent free in my mind and I consider them to be one of the coolest innovations that trucks have seen in the last several decades.
As American cars and trucks continue to become more bloated, turning themselves into lifestyle vehicles instead of work tools, electric mini-trucks have been picking up the slack.
I own a Chinese electric mini-truck and it has seen more real work usage than most pickup trucks on the road today. It ain’t no grocery-getter, to say the least.
Unlike with many new pickups, whose owners seem to be afraid of actually hauling anything in back lest they scratch it, I just had to install a new bed liner in mine after 18 months of shovel dings and drag marks.
I’ve had as much as 800 pounds (360 kg) of dirt in the back of my mini-truck, and the hydraulic dumper hasn’t even complained.
But enough about my truck. The Chinese electric mini-truck I’ve selected for this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week would positively laugh at such a small load as a mere 800 lb of dirt!
That’s because this little wonder is purpose-built for hauling heavy loads. “How heavy?”, you may ask. Heavier than your truck can handle, that’s how heavy.
And the secret to its heavy-hauling nature is the inclusion of a second rear axle. Yep, compared to all the fun little four-wheeled mini-trucks out there, this one has 50% more rubber on the road.
Tri-axle trucks exist for basically one purpose and one purpose only: handling heavier loads. They’re built to haul.
And this little guy, he can haul with the best of them. At least, if his vendor is to be believed.
The little truck comes rated with 2,000 kg (4,410 lb) of hauling capacity. That’s 800 kg (1760 lb) on the front axle and 1,200 kg (2,650 lb) on the rear axles.
Compared to a Ford F-150 Lightning, which has a max hauling capacity of between 1,800 to 2,000 lb (816 to 907 kg), this little Chinese mini-truck can handle twice as much.
Of course I’m not talking about towing capacity. The F-150 crushes this little thing in towing, mostly since our Chinese tri-axle truck lacks a tow hitch and thus has a towing capacity of zero. That’s one of the reasons I had to add a DIY towing hitch to my mini-truck.
Then there are other issues to consider, like is this little mini-truck even capable of operating under that much load? Can it get rolling, and then can it even stop?
To be fair, it’s got twice the motors as mine. Both rear axles have a 4 kW motor mounted to their differentials, offering a 4×6 drive setup. Combined they only offer a 45 km/h (28 mph) top speed, but that’s pretty standard when it comes to Chinese micro-cars.
For $4,200, it’s hard to complain about the speed. Though as we’ve often discovered, that advertised price is usually far below what you’d actually pay to get one of these sent stateside. My Chinese imports have usually wound up costing me around 4x the sticker price, after all is said and done.
But still, $16,000 for one of these might be pretty tempting if all you need is a heavy-hauler and don’t mind small details like bare bones creature comforts or a lack of street legality!
Since none of us is likely to buy one though, let’s just enjoy seeing it in action in the video below.
And since this truck has an extra helping of axles, why not an extra helping of mini-truck videos.
Here’s another one for you!