Weird Alibaba: Would you buy a 50 hp electric UTV from China to save money?

In this week’s dive into the deep end of the Alibaba pool, we’ve floated back to the surface with an interesting looking electric UTV designed for flying fast over rugged terrain. It may not compete with the best offerings currently found in the industry, but neither do most of the vehicles we dredge up for the Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week column.

The 37.5 kW (50 hp) electric UTV from Alibaba isn’t going to rival current market leaders like the Polaris RANGER XP Kinetic with its 80 kW (100 hp) drivetrain borrowed from Zero Motorcycles.

But then again, the $16,500 Alibaba version is around half the price.

And it sure does look like fun!

The little UTV-that-could is packing enough power to reach speeds of up to 75 km/h (46 mph), which surely feels a lot faster off-road than on the tarmac.

It’s also got a 16.5 kWh battery pack, which should give it several hours of leisurely riding, or a bit less if you’re pushing it to the limit. There’s an on-board charger to replenish the battery, though details are scarce about how quickly it can recharge.

This Chinese electric UTV may come with half the battery and half the power of the US-built Polaris model, but it has twice the rows of seats. The extended cab features seating for four, and you could probably toss a few kiddos in back for a low speed hayride too.

The bed actually seems a bit diminutive, which is probably due to having to give up more real estate for that second row of seats.

But most people will probably use this more as a fun-mobile than as a true working UTV on a farm or ranch. And like many of the EVs we find for this column, it’s probably designed more for rental operations and day trips where a group takes these things out onto the trails in a follow the leader type of excursion.

In fact, that’s exactly what seems to be going on in the vendor’s marketing video below.

Though if you have your volume turned on, you might pick up on the subtle fact that they included a video of the gas-powered versions of their UTV, not the electric ones.

I imagine that the electric versions are even torquier than these combustion engine-powered UTVs, thanks to the improved performance of electric motors.

Plus there’s the other obvious benefits, such as being able to enjoy nature without the sound or smell associated with a rumbling tailpipe, lower operating costs for refueling and maintenance, and smoother throttle response.

In fact, if you want to see a real electric UTV in action, check out the video from my test ride of the Polaris RANGER XP Kinetic below.

As usual, I think I’m going to have to pass up on this enticing offer of a lower-than-believable-cost EV on Alibaba. I’ve got too much skin in the game as it is, with my electric boat recently arriving and a container of electric loaders that I found a few weeks ago being prepared for me.

We’ve seen people buy some odd Chinese off-roaders from Alibaba before though, and when they actually arrive they’re usually pretty awesome. So be sure to let me know if you dive in yourself for one of these.

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