Chinese electric vehicle and parts manufacturer Kandi Technologies Group is officially bringing two EVs to the United States through its subsidiary Kandi America — news that has prompted run up in its share price earlier this week.
Kandi stock opened at $3.88 a share on Wednesday, jumping to $16.51 on Thursday. Shares have now settled above $7.
Like many Chinese automakers, Kandi Technologies has been talking about bringing EVs to the United States for a couple of years. However, it should be noted that Kandi is not listed on the EPA’s fuel economy website or among the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s crash tests, so it’s unclear how far along its vehicles are in the certification process.
But the company claims two models are arriving as early as the end of 2020, beginning in a limited area in Texas. Both are priced under $30,000 before federal incentives.
The two models heading to the U.S. are Kandi’s compact K27 vehicle that comes with a 17.69 kWh battery and a range of up to 100 miles, according to the automaker (although it’s unclear what standard was used for that claim). The K27 starts at $20,499, and is eligible for the $7,500 federal income tax credit. That would put the K27 at just under $13,000, although again it’s unclear if this includes the destination fee.
The larger K23 is also coming to the U.S. market. This small electric SUV has a 41.4 kWh battery and a driving range of more than 180 miles. The K23 starts at just under $30,000, again before applying federal incentives.
Both of those vehicles, even without the federal incentives, are less expensive than other EVs sold in the U.S., including the Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Kona EV — to name a few.
The aim is middle-class U.S. consumers. It’s a group that has had few affordable EV choices, Kandi Technologies Chairman Xiaoming Hu said in a statement. Kandi America CEO Johnny Ta echoed those sentiments.
“Electric vehicles have been valued for years for their efficiency, sustainability and innovation. However, owning the ‘it’ car often eluded consumers who desired a great EV alongside all the other comforts of modern living. Kandi is changing that by revolutionizing the EV-buying experience for many,” Tai said. “Kandi’s mission is to make electric cars accessible to all.”
The two models clearly hit the affordability standard. The question is whether they will tick the other important boxes for customers here, a list that includes reliability and performance.
The vehicles will be sold by Garland, Texas-based Kandi America, the trade name of Kandi’s wholly owned subsidiary SC Autosports, LLC. Sales will initially focus on the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the company said.