Here come the cheap EVs from China. Before the end of this year, a new auto manufacturer in the US will debut with the cheapest new electric vehicle in the US. Chinese manufacturer Kandi Technologies Group actually will be launching two EVs: the Kandi K27 and K23. They will first be available in Texas before expanding throughout the rest of the US. The 2021 Kandi K23 will become the cheapest new EV in the US.
Kandi reports a range of 100 miles is in store for the K27 owner
First will be the K27 with a 17.69 kWh battery pack. Kandi reports a range of 100 miles is in store for the K27 owner. Without horsepower or torque figures available at this time we’re left with the price. After the US federal tax credit is applied the price falls to just under $13,000. Before the credit the K27 lists for $20,499. In some states, the credits bring the price in at $10,000.
The K27 has the look of a stripped-down Honda Fit but with round headlights. It’s narrow and tall which gives it an awkward look. At the rear round taillights mimic the front headlights. This is not a dynamic-looking car.
Overall the K27 has the look of a 1970s import interior
Inside it is very sparse but does not expose any painted surfaces except for a band of exterior color below the dash. An infotainment screen sits prominently above the dash. A hatch opens to reveal a small storage area in the back. Though a four-door the rear seats look like they would be cramped for anyone other than small children. Overall it has the look of a 1970s import interior.
With the K23 there is an upgrade in most categories. More adventurous styling isn’t revolutionary but does add more interest than the K27. It is also larger than its K27 sibling. The K23 exhibits that “angry toaster” look which adds a certain higher-quality feel. Overall it is much larger than the K27.
The K23 has a better range with a 41.4 kWh battery that gives you 180 miles of range. A list price of $29,999 looks to give a lot more than the K27. After the tax credits, the price comes in at $22,499.
The K23 interior is a more contemporary take than with the K27
As with the exterior, the interior is a more contemporary take than with the K27. The infotainment screen dominates the dash placed above the console. A shift dial is an upgrade from the K27’s more traditional shifter. Lifting the hatch there is limited cargo space but it’s doubtful you would be using it for more than commuting so it is negligible.
Kandi has been approved for US sales and has the distinction of being the first of what we expect to be millions of Chinese EV imports at some point. Observing the reception to Japanese imports in the 1960s and Korean imports in the 1980s to the Us we expect these will be of a higher quality. Otherwise, it will be a learning curve as it was with the other imports. But as we’ve seen with the other imports we can expect highly competitive products from China for here on out.