You can be sure that each week I spend ample time snorkeling to the depths of Alibaba’s odd electric vehicle listings to find the most interesting and wackiest offerings from China. And those of you who prefer the wheeled variety will be happy to know that I’ve got a great four-wheeled monstrosity coming next week. But this week I found something that rises above anything I’ve featured before, or at least nearly everything. And while I had to stretch the limits of the term “electric vehicle” to make it happen, I think this consumer-grade Chinese home elevator is just cool enough to qualify as this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week!
It’s definitely electric, and I can make the argument that it’s a vehicle. But all of that is moot when you consider the base requirement: that’s it’s freakin’ awesome!
I don’t even own a house, and yet here I am contemplating how to convince my landlord that he should let me install this home elevator in my one-story apartment.
Having a second story doesn’t even seem like a requirement, as the demo video on the Alibaba page (copied below) has the model riding up into what appears just to be the eaves in a high-ceiling living room. Stepping out would turn the elevator into the first part of an adventure ride akin to free-solo bungee jumping.
Then add in the claustrophobia-inducing size. I’ve seen guitar cases roomier than this elevator.
I think it’s a good idea that they made it wraparound glass otherwise you’d feel like you were being loaded into a standing-room-only coffin.
And yes, I know what you’re probably thinking: “How can I trust the quality of a home elevator ordered from some random company on the other side of the world?”. But don’t worry, this thing is obviously well-made. It comes with a two-year warranty, mind you! I mean, who uses a house for more than a couple of years anyway?
As far as technical specs go, it’s hard for me to find the usual suspects. Things like motor power and electric-only range – normally staples of this column – don’t feel quite as relevant today.
I can tell you it claims to run from “Local AC Voltage”, which I guess means you can plug it into whatever nearby electrical outlet you happen to have on hand. It also comes with a 300 kg (660 lb) load rating, though by the looks of it I don’t know how you’d physically fit enough people in it to reach that weight. A broad-shouldered gentleman would probably have to stand corner to corner as it is.
Perhaps the most important spec of all though is the price, which is a weirdly affordable US $2,800. I feel like that’s even cheaper than installing stairs, though I’ve only built one set of those in my life and my dad didn’t pay me anything, so I guess stairs can be pretty cheap too.
Imagine installing one of these, inviting a friend over to check it out, riding down nose to nose with them while excitedly explaining “…and the best part is how insanely cheap it was!” That’s sure to give them a warm feeling, at least if your breath on their neck hasn’t done that already.
Despite having put my own skin in the game a few times to buy some awesomely weird electric vehicles from Alibaba, I think I’ll sit this one out.
But if anyone else happens to order one of these home elevators, which you absolutely should NOT do, then give me a holler. I’d love to come check it out, though I might bring a pillow to stand on… just in case.
Author: Micah Toll