Electric cars from renowned automakers cost a fortune and there are plenty of import-related hassles that you have to go through, however, there’s an electric car that costs under $1,000. It is China made and can be ordered through Alibaba.
An American citizen, Jason Torchinsky, ordered the same from a Chinese manufacturer called Changli. He, however, was left a little awe-struck when the electric car came packed in a box. Not sure how it would perform, he unboxed the EV and was quite surprised to find out that it has a number of features sported by modern cars.
Well, calling it a car would be an overstatement, however, it is a genuinely usable battery-powered quadricycle. If you are getting something as cheap as this, it has its drawbacks, doesn’t it?
Let’s have a detailed look at what the car has to offer:
Chang Li’s Nemeca is more like a big 4-wheel, 2-door car, however, it comes packed with almost everything. Since the vehicle is for leisure commuting, not much consideration has been given to the dynamics and design.
The car’s dimensions are 2500*1500*1800 mm and a wheelbase of 1480 mm and aluminum wheels. T
he exterior color is mostly red, however, you can order a custom color if you want. Being a Chinese car, it comes with a number of stickers on the body. It has a rear and a front guard and an LED-fitted roof rack at the top.
The car has a maximum loading capacity of 300 kg. The windshield is overly dramatic as it is very curvy. Not just this, the rear glass is also curved at the top and it also has a back door. The white-colored fenders give it the look of a kids’ car.
There are no fog lamps, however, the projector-beam headlights are very sporty and the indicators are placed on the side mirrors which come in a black and white color scheme. Door handles are chrome and the company’s emblem is located on the front grille below the bonnet. It is astonishing that the body is totally made of metal and not plastic.
The glass windows on both sides have a sliding window that can be opened or closed as needed. The entire body is painted included the underbody, thus ensuring that it doesn’t rust after rain.
Although the car feels like a golf cart from the outside, it is totally the opposite when you step inside. The dashboard quality is poor as expected, but, it stays where it needs to be, so no need to be overly worried about it. It’s a 900-dollar car, isn’t it?
The steering wheel, which is almost a direct copy of Ford Steeles, feels quite alright with a rubbery feeling. The two-tone faux–leather seats with contrast stitching also give the interior a good look. The gear shift is quite cranky and so are a number of other things, but, the price tag does justice to all of it.
The car also has a rearview camera and the speedometer has a lot of markings such as battery indicator, odometer, and voltage meter, making it more advanced than a number of basic car models in Pakistan. The dashboard also has an MP3 music player.
The floor is covered with a padded rubber mat. The rubber stripping around doors, windows, and everything else gives the interior a fancy look despite the use of inferior quality plastic.
The car’s suspension design – Coilover three-link – is almost the same as modern Suzuki Jimny or Toyota Land Cruiser 80 Series and there’s a rear differential. It has drum brakes on the rear and no front brakes. To your surprise, it features a standard electric heater and a rooftop fan as well.
The power electronics including wires coming from the charger, pedal, batteries, and motor, are all packed under the shelf under the rear load floor. On the shelf, there is a controller, which, among other things, handles turning the pedal/shifter input into a motor output and a DC-DC converter that converts 48 to 72-volt inputs into 12-volt outputs.
There are 5 12-volt lead-acid batteries wired in series that are placed under the driver seat.
Engine & Performance
For starters, it generates 1.1 horsepower. Secondly, it’s aerodynamics are poor with very small wheels below a very narrow, tall body. It can hit a maximum speed of 30-35 km/h with a charging time of 7-10 hours. In a single charge, the Chang Li Nemeco can cover about 100 km with a climbing ability of 30 degrees.
It comes without any safety features, neither does it undergo the crash testing procedures, thus an accident wouldn’t be something you’d want to have if you are a passenger. It can only fit 3 persons with one driver and two passengers.
The car is up for grabs for a mere $930 (~Rs. 150,000), however, this is without the battery pack and delivery charges. This is a great bargain looking at the value the car has to offer and the tax-free import allowed by the Pakistan government.