Kandi Technologies Group Inc. (NASDAQ: KNDI) Introduces Tiny Electric Car to US Market

Electric cars represent the next frontier of vehicular travel. They run on clean energy, have zero emissions, and are generally easy on the environment. Most developed countries plan to phase out internal combustion-engined vehicles in exchange for electric vehicles over the next decade, but one major hurdle they face is price. In June 2019, the average cost of an EV in the U.S. was $35,742, according to Kelly Blue Book. However, Americans may be able to purchase a new EV for much less after Chinese automaker Kandi Technologies Group Inc. (NASDAQ: KNDI) announced it would be entering the U.S. market with two low-cost EVs.

Kandi will debut with two models, the K27 and the K23, with the latter being the larger and more expensive version. The K27 will sell for as little as $10,000 to the first 1,000 customers thanks to a $7,500 tax credit which slashes the original $17,500 price tag by nearly half. After the 1,000 cars are sold, customers will buy the K27 for $19,800 or $12,400 after the tax credit. The K23 will be the larger and expensive version despite having a lower number.

The first 1,000 vehicles will be sold for $20,000 after the tax credit with the price going up to $22,500 afterward. However, you get limited bells and whistles with such a low price tag. For starters, the K27 can go only 100 miles on a single charge owing to its small 10-kilowatt-hour battery pack. It has an equally limited 27 horsepower electric motor with a top speed of 63 miles an hour. According to Kandi America chief executive Johhny Tai, the K27 takes a while to reach its top speed due to its weak motor.

The K23, on the other hand, is 1.7 feet longer, has a top speed of 70 miles an hour, and can go 188 miles on a single charge. This is due to a battery pack that is nearly double the size of the K27 and contributes to the K23 being more than 608 pounds heavier. Tai admits that although the larger EV won’t be much faster, its motor provides a very different level of experience compared to the K27.

Aside from their relatively weak motors and limited range, there is no guarantee these vehicles are safe. Although Tai claims that “safety is always our number one priority and Kandi has been certified by NHTSA,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does not certify manufacturers or vehicles. According to a statement by the NHTSA, manufacturers themselves must “certify that their products comply with all applicable Federal motor vehicles safety standards and must ensure they are free of safety-related defects.”

“I don’t think that we want to compete with Tesla or anyone. We want to have a new category for people who are thinking, ‘hey, I want an electric car, I want to do good for the environment, but I also want to save money,” Tai says. “We want to provide a better value. That is what we are looking for and we’ll continue.”

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