Weird Alibaba: Anybody want an electric airplane stair truck?


Weird Alibaba: Anybody want an electric airplane stair truck?

Remember how the Bluth family drove that airplane staircase truck in the TV series Arrested Development? My apologies if not, since that’s a bit critical to the lead image gag above. But either way, you can surely appreciate how ridiculous it would be to actually own and drive one of those as a real vehicle. And now thanks to Alibaba, you might not have to purely imagine it anymore.

That’s right! This week’s entry in the future Pulitzer Prize-winning column Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week is a set of electric airplane stairs that you can drive to the grocery store, bowling alley, or to visit your friend in jail. Just don’t park too close to the fence.

To be fair, there’s a slight chance that the stair trucks in the product images on Alibaba aren’t actually electric. The sales page describes an “electric option” for the truck, and I’ve got a hunch that these might be the old-fashioned dinosaur stairs. But to be honest, I’ve been writing this column for over three years now and I’m starting to worry that I’m outpacing the rate at which China can build new weird EVs, so I’m going to allow it.

And it would make perfect sense to have an electric stair truck, at least if you happen to be operating an airline. The refueling operation for massive airliners seems like the last place you’d want any extra exploding engines driving around.

What makes a bit less sense is why they would be selling one of these on Alibaba. Surely they have a direct phone line to Spirit Airlines – they don’t need to advertise to them online.

But hey, if they’re going to market a set of electric airplane stairs on Alibaba, you better believe I’m going to imagine how they could fit into my life. This could be the big new status symbol in electric vehicles!

We’ve got dudes with too much money buying Cybertrucks just to have the latest rare thing to show off. I was just in Austin, Texas this week and saw a pile of Cybertrucks already. Boring… Next! How about driving around one of these babies, huh?! I can all but guarantee you’ll have the only one in town. Oh, your Cybertruck needs special machinery to produce it? So does my truck. Both of ours may rust when left out in the rain, but only mine comes in both a convertible and hard top!

Oh yea, and at just $60,000 a pop, mine saves me a bit of cash, too!

As usual, I don’t actually recommend trying to buy whatever awesome, weird, or traffic-crime-of-a-vehicle I happen to feature each week from Alibaba. Not only is there a real non-zero chance that you’ll lose your money and never get a vehicle, but almost none of the fun things coming out of China’s EV factories are street-legal in the US. And let’s be honest, where would you park your stair truck, anyway?

Sure, none of us will probably buy an electric stair truck. It’s an extravagance that simply won’t fit into the lives of most average folks like us.

But the next time you’re taking a bleary, red-eye flight to lord only knows where, and you happen to gaze distantly out the terminal window until your eyes lock onto a lonely, disused stair truck on the corner of the tarmac, you can think to yourself, “that could have been me.”

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