By on August 21, 2020

Kandi America

Interested in a new electric vehicle with an after-tax credit price of $9,999? What about a larger model stickering for $19,999? Hmmm… doesn’t seem to be that many of you.

You can be forgiven for not knowing about Kandi America, the U.S. subsidiary of Kandi Technologies Group — a Chinese battery and electric vehicle manufacturer. Earlier this week, Kandi revealed two models it plans to bring to America in the hopes of cleaning up at the low end of the EV market. Having seen its share price skyrocket after announcing a U.S. market entry last month, the company’s stock fell back to earth when Wall Street gauged the public’s enthusiasm.

Nearly 11,000 “potential buyers” registered for the online reveal of the K27 and K23 on Tuesday, Kandi America stated, with one of those attendees winning a free K23. A small, four-door hatchback with a 41 kWh battery, the K23 is said to possess a range of 188 miles, with its electric motor generating a paltry 28.2 horsepower. How much torque it makes, we don’t know.

Top speed is pegged at 70 mph, meaning the vehicle would be capable of travelling on American highways.

The K27 is a retro-themed four-door hatch with slab sides and “ain’t I cute?” round headlamps that bring to mind those of the Mini Cooper. The cheaper of the two models, a K27 delivers 26.8 hp and a top speed of 63 mph. Range is said to be 100 miles.

Hoping to tickle buying bones across America, Kandi offered a promotion to the first 1,000 reservation holders. “Originally priced at $19,999 MSRP, the K27 is now listed as $17,499,” the company stated. “The K23 is discounted from $29,999 MSRP to $27,499. With the $7,500 federal tax credit, this brings the prices down to just $9,999 and $19,999 respectively for eligible buyers.”

After its late-July announcement, Kandi saw its Nasdaq-listed stock rise 140 percent the following day. Wall Street loves EV promises, don’t you know. However, when Kandi announced that the first 24 hours after the launch saw the company collect 436 pre-order reservations — fully refundable $100 ones, at that — the balloon burst.

On Wednesday, The Motley Fool wrote, “Yesterday, shares of Kandi stock fell 13.5% in the aftermath of the presentation. Today, they’re down nearly 9% more.”

The stock fell through the remainder of the week, and is down 5.5 percent since trading commenced today. Since Tuesday morning, the company’s share price, which spent the better part of this year trading in the $3-$4 range, has fallen from $10.60 a share to $7.07 at last check.

Regardless of the reveal’s shortcomings, the Texas-headquartered Kandi America says it wants to start building product in the United States.

In a release, the company said “it plans to more aggressively target the fast-growing North America market and ensure affordability by eliminating shipping costs and tariffs,” adding that “The Company is in preliminary discussion with various potential partners, including local government agencies from the US-Mexico border, and has received positive feedback.”

It did offer a disclaimer, though: “The Company cautioned that the exploration process is in its early stage and any negotiations would not guarantee a North American plant will be built.”

This is when we place our bets. Where does yours lie?

[Image: Kandi America]

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16 Comments on “What Goes Up: U.S. Arm of Bargain-basement Chinese EV Maker Fails to Impress Wall Street...”

  • avatar

    Should be able to get 200k miles out of one of these with ease.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    People tend to shy away from gas station sushi, too.

    Tesla had 115k reservations @ $1000/each *before* the Model 3 was revealed.

    Kandi is doomed in the US.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    Some FREE! marketing advice to Kandi USA:

    Make your $10,000 e-car appealing to suburban parents and their 16 year old daughters. When you think about it, a cute, short-range electric is IDEALLY suited to newly licensed kids who are going to use their first car to bounce around town mostly.

    How to make it appealing to that sub-group of American buyers?: 1) Great crash saftey scores, 2)Great infotainment, and 3) broad pallette of colors for exterior paint. Offer a cabriolet version on the coasts. Also, offer 24 month leases.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Or they could just buy a used Leaf with pedigree and dealer support.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        Yes, another good option. Leaf has never been accused of being “cute” however, nor does “Nissan” rank as “pedigree” among many.

        My family has now mostly grown up–my wife is nearly finished with the minivan/3-row CUV stage of life. She has a 6 mile round trip commute, and my car is great on long trips. Her CX-9 has lots of miles–and I don’t want to deal with the dreaded water pump issue on the Ford V6 in it. I am thinking she would be a great BEV candidate…not sure if I can talk her into it however.

    • 0 avatar

      Why not just train those kids to drive a proper car in the first place ?

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        I sometimes find reading comments instructive. While many include well understood (often repeated!!) perspectives, and others are simply rants continuing previously well-ranted views, a few with unique perspective and understanding do occassionally surface.

        I believe comment threads, while sometimes quite venomous, have the potential to expand understanding, which, for myself at least, is why I visit this site. I have abandoned other sites (automotive and otherwise) due to the articles, and comments, being too riddled with political cliche and venom–I gain nothing from reading them.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry


        I consider contemporary BEV options in USA to be “proper cars.” If you don’t, why not?

  • avatar

    Come on people get a grip already…you are a “car site” yet you have no gut feel as the the physics of how HP convrys to starting torque numbers?
    This car is sooo ugly only Tesla Pickup people would buy it… but 70-75 ft/lbs of torque at takeoff should be plenty for a “car” this size. Give the maker some credit. And learn some physics.

  • avatar

    As I watch yet another knock-off USB charger sizzle and melt, there’s just something about “Chinese” and “electriic voltage” that doesn’t sit well with me.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    You don’t get a charge out of Chinese EVs.

  • avatar

    So little horsepower it’s barely highway legal, and no DC fast charge. That’s gonna be a no from me, dawg. I predict sales of approximately zero.

  • avatar

    Absolute crap cans. The K27 looks like an electric Trabant (intentional?). If you want cheap and electric, buy a used Fiat 500e, or a used first-gen Smart Fortwo Electric Drive.

  • avatar

    Ugh, electric Yugo. Can’t unsee it now.

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