When they reach the American market later this year, the K23 and K27 will be two of the cheapest electric cars on sale here and will be accordingly trimmed. Onboard gadgetry will be barebones, consisting of Bluetooth audio, a back-up camera, dual front airbags, and antilock brakes. Both are highway-legal, and will come with promising battery warranties of eight years or 62,000 miles—handy if battery degradation sets in within the 300- to 500-cycle window commonly seen with EVs.
It’s worth remembering that even Tesla, which has long said it wants to democratize EVs, still has a $40,000 car as its cheapest model. But by skimping on an EV and committing to a Kandi, buyers will give up a lot of what we take for granted on even other EVs. Kandi tells us that while DC fast-charge compatibility is planned for next year, early birds will have to make do with just “level 2” 240-volt AC charging.
And while Kandi has submitted both models to the EPA to have their ranges verified, and the NHTSA for crash testing, no results for either Kandi can be found on the EPA’s or NHTSA’s public databases. Until these agencies issue their verdicts on Kandi’s cars, buyers have to take the automaker at its word that the range capabilities are real, and that its cars won’t flatten in a crash.
If you’re willing to take a chance on these ultra-affordable Chinese-made EVs, Kandi America says it’ll begin taking refundable $100 deposits on August 18, when sales commence in the company’s hometown of Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. With time, Kandi hopes to sell EVs in all 48 mainland states, though that might require a smooth launch down in Texas. And as times to launch a car company ago, the middle of an economic dip isn’t an easy one.
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