Weird Alibaba: You can buy your own electric school bus from China

In yet another entry of the Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week that takes us into new territory, this week it’s time to grab your backpack and lunch money for your first day of school. Or at least your first day out and about on a new electric school bus. That’s right, this awesome electric school bus could be yours… if you want to bring it over from China.

Electric school buses aren’t unique; we’re starting to see more and more of them in North America. But normally you have to be a kid to ride in one, which just seems unfair to me.

Fortunately the friendly engineers behind the fun electric vehicles we often dredge up from the depths of Alibaba’s online shopping catalog have found a solution: selling electric school buses directly to commoners like you and me!

While this isn’t your typical stretched-out Blue Bird school bus, this stubbier model is no slouch, either. It can reach a top speed of between 111 to 130 km/h (69 to 81 mph)! If it’s fast enough to take a bunch of glue eaters on the highway to the local science museum field trip, it’s fast enough for pretty much anything we could want to do with it.

At this point you may be wondering just what I would do with my own electric school bus. Well, not pick up snot-nosed kids for school, that’s for sure! Instead, think of all the cool things this bus could be turned into. You could have your own party bus, or convert it into an awesome electric RV or camper van. At $50,000, it’s not exactly an impulse purchase. But then again, electric buses typically cost several times as much, so maybe it is a deal after all!

School buses actually offer a unique and cost-effective opportunity for transformation into fully functional campers. It takes solid construction to get parents to trust these vehicles with their precious little crumb crunchers. The rugged design, spacious interiors, and sturdy frames of school buses make them great for retrofitting to create comfortable and personalized mobile living spaces.

You can rip out the original seating previously used by all those little ankle biters and then creatively repurpose the generous square footage. The sky is the limit when it comes to designing custom layouts for sleeping quarters, kitchens, bathrooms, and lounging areas. And since this bus starts life as an electric vehicle, it’s even better for a green conversion with a roof full of solar panels and a hidden composting toilet in a cabinet.

With all of the electric school buses starting to enter operation with actual crib lizards en route to school, a couple decades from now there will surely be a cottage industry of repurposing used electric school buses. But if you don’t want to wait that long, and don’t mind a hood full of Mandarin characters, then perhaps ordering a Chinese electric school bus is for you!

Okay, let’s end on a serious note: Please don’t buy this thing. It’s fun to imagine getting a bargain basement electric bus, but this ordeal is surely rife with problems.

As I’ve learned from my own Chinese EV imports, you often don’t get exactly what you expect and it will always cost significantly more than you budgeted. So don’t imitate my fellow foolish readers and buy weird things from halfway around the world. Let’s just all enjoy the magic of Alibaba window shopping!

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