Municipal services are ripe for conversion to electric vehicles. With all of those hours on the road, switching away from polluting gas-powered engines could make a huge difference. But when it comes to fire trucks, I’m not sure if this little Alibaba fire truck has what it takes.
But it certainly has gusto, and that earns it a coveted spot as this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week!
This little electric fire truck is definitely on the smaller end of the scale, even as far as little Chinese electric fire trucks go.
The adorable little fire engine that could is a mere 2.4 meters long (7’10”), slightly longer than your average basketball player.
The little four-wheeler touts some nice equipment though, like a somewhat uncomfortable looking bench, full LED lighting, an inexplicable Spiderman plushy toy on top, and hydraulic brakes that give it a stopping distance of just 3 meters (10 feet).
At first I was a bit worried that was also the range, but diving deeper into the vendor’s page shows the range is actually between 50-60 km (31-37 miles). I guess if your fire is further away than that, this isn’t really the truck you want fighting it anyway.
But don’t think our little fire engine doesn’t come with what it takes to fight the flames.
Inside the rear compartment you’ll find the best fire-fighting gear around. Or at least, some fire-fighting gear. There you’ll see a pair of fire extinguishers, a reel of fire hose, some fire hatchets (not axes, mind you), and other assorted gear that should hopefully turn small fires into smaller smoldering embers.
Alibaba fire engine
Sure, you could carry all of that in the trunk of a typical car. But you couldn’t drive that car down the center of a gridlocked two-lane road, now could you?
Besides, I see some wisdom in the design here. Imagine running the fire department for a big city. Those fire trucks cost well over a million dollars. How many can you possibly buy? You’ve got to cover a pretty wide area with just a few expensive trucks.
But with these little $2,500 Alibaba fire trucks, you could buy 400 of them for the price of one big boy truck. They could be parked on every street corner on a 20 square block grid, playing man-to-man instead of zone. It’s death by a thousand paper-cuts. Each (bacon) fire could be swarmed by a few dozen baby fire engines.
Which would you rather fight off? A swarm of 400 bees, or one fire truck sized-bee? Hmm, there’s some nightmare fuel for you.
Alright, so we’ve had a bit of fun at this little guy’s expense. But realistically speaking, I can see some use.
Industrial parks, college campuses, sprawling retirement complexes and other large areas could probably make use of a few of these things. Heck, even some big indoor buildings might find use here. If they’re kept with some water in the rear tank and a few fire extinguishers loaded up for quick access, they could actually help keep a fire held back for a couple critical minutes while the real firemen show up with the proper gear.
And the cute red getup along with the lights and siren would certainly let people know an actual emergency is underway, as opposed to you flying down the road in your Civic with a fire extinguisher in the trunk.
So as usual, and as cute as this little baby fire engine is, I can see some real use for these things under certain circumstances. And if they aren’t getting used for their intended purposes, then they could make some good side money being rented out for water fights during spring break!
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