The Kandi Model K23 is bigger than the Model K27.
Both cars are fully electric, with driving ranges of 188 and 100 miles, respectively.
Pricing starts at $20K USD for the K27, and $30K for the K23, before federal tax credits.
A new brand of low-budget EVs are about to hit the U.S. market. The Kandi Model K23 and Model K27 fully electric cars are now available to order, and are both eligible for the federal $7,500 tax credit to make them even more affordable.
The Kandi brand is exploited by a Chinese company that’s establishing itself in the United States with these two models, hoping to cash in on the very slow adoption of EVs in the country. The fact that manufacturers are giving up on subcompact and low-priced cars in favour of crossovers could also play in favour of EV startups like this one. The cars are built in China.
The Kandi Model K23 is a five-door, four-passenger, subcompact-sized car, although a little narrower, that rides on a compact-car 104.3-inch (2,649-mm) wheelbase. It rolls on 14-inch wheels and weighs in at 2,954 pounds. Its electric motor feeds 28 horsepower to the front wheels, helping the K23 reach a top speed of 70 mph (112 km/h), while its 41.4-kWh battery pack provides a driving range estimated at 188 miles (300 km). It takes 7.5 hours to fully charge the car on a 240-volt outlet.
Starting at $29,999 USD, the Model K23 undercuts EVs such as the Chevrolet Bolt EV and the Nissan LEAF, and could cost as low as $22,499 in select states for buyers who can take full advantage of the federal tax credit—remember, it’s not a rebate, but a reduction of income taxes.
Standard features include Bluetooth connectivity, a vertically mounted 10-inch infotainment touchscreen, driver and front passenger airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic brake for distribution and a rearview camera.
Even smaller than the Kandi Model K23, the Model K27 rides on a 96.7-inch wheelbase while getting dwarfed by even a Chevrolet Spark and a Mitsubishi Mirage. It’s also equipped with 14-inch wheels and its curb weight is rated at 2,271 pounds. Its front wheels must handle all the 27 horsepower produced by its electric motor, which is fed by a 17.7-kWh battery pack. Top speed is 63 mph (100 km/h), driving range is estimated at 100 miles (160 km) and it takes 7 hours to fully charge the Model K27’s batteries.
Base price for the Kandi Model K27 is set at $19,999 USD and is also eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, where applicable. Standard features are the same as in the Kandi Model K27, but with a horizontally mounted 9-inch touchscreen.
Both cars are backed by a 4-year/50,000-mile (whichever comes first) material and workmanship warranty, along with an 8-year/62,000-mile battery warranty.
Texas-based Kandi qualifies itself as “an innovative technology company that provides eco-friendly transportation, at an affordable cost, to ensure electric vehicles are available to a larger demographic and households in the U.S.” Its SC Autosports LLC subsidiary is the exclusive distributor for Kandi EVs in the country, and no word yet on whether the company will set up a dealership network. Availability of the Kandi Model K23 and the Model K27 in Canada is also unknown at this time.