This little electric run-about started off as a Daihatsu Move, much like the Perodua Kenari we see on our local shores. Chinese automotive manufacturer FAW took it, and rebadged it for the Chinese market as the FAW Xinfu, or it’s direct translation, the FAW Happy Messenger.

Then another Chinese company, Qingyuan ripped out the gasoline engine and put an electric motor in it. The result is the Qingyuan ZX40, which Miles Automotive of the USA is importing as the Miles ZX40. The 40 in it’s name likely refers to it’s 40 mile range, which is about 64 kilometers on a single charge. Or it could be it’s 40 km/h top speed. Not very feasible to replace your car, especially highway driving, but useful for the missus to do her groceries nearby.

The US$15,000 car is street legal in the US, but target customers are townships, military bases, ports and research institutions.

Miles Automotive and Qingyuan has bigger things in the works – the XS200 which will have a 200 mile (320km) range and an 80mph (130km/h) top speed.