Kandi Technologies Group announced recently that it has formed a partnership with Sportsman Country, a distributor of ATVs located in Dallas, Texas. Together, the companies will market two electric cars with the Kandi brand in America — the K22 subcompact and the EX3 compact SUV. Starting price of the K22 will be less than $20,000. Pricing for the EX3 has not been announced.
Kandi has spent the past several months soliciting feedback from potential US customers and adapting the cars to American tastes. Both cars are in full compliance with all US safety requirements for new cars. “This is electrifying news, literally. The charging port settings, software system language and the user interface were upgraded from the original models to satisfy U.S. market needs. They are now compatible with DOT standards and conventional charging stations,” says Johnny Tai, a spokesperson for Sportsman Country, according to a report in InsideEVs.
“The pure electric vehicle market in the United States is full of potentials,” says Kandi’s chairman and chief executive officer, Xiaoming Hu. “The JV Company’s EV products are competitive in price and quality. Sportsman is capable of growing the EV business and expanding the sales channel in the United States.”
Now pay attention. Here is where things get a bit complicated, and there may be a pop quiz at the end. For you legal eagles out there, the actual contract is between Sportsman Country and Zhejiang JiHeKang Electric Vehicle Sales Co. Ltd.. Zhejiang is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kandi Electric Vehicles Group Co. Ltd., which itself is a joint venture between Kandi and Geely. Geely is the owner of Volvo Cars and new electric car startup Lynk & Co. The Kandi EX3 was developed in cooperation with Geely and is marketed in China as the Geely Global Hawk EX3. Got all that? Good. Let’s move on.
Underneath the sheet metal, the two cars are mechanically very similar. The K22 has a 19 kWh battery while the EX3 has a 26 kWh unit. Range for both is around 126 miles according to WattEV2Buy.com. Both have an electric motor rated at 66 horsepower and top speed of 64 mph.
Not the kind of numbers that will knock the socks of Tesla Model 3 owners, but consider this. Both cars have batteries large enough to qualify for the full federal EV tax credit. If the K22 sells for less than $20,000, that means US buyers could park a brand new electric vehicle in their driveway for a net cost below $12,500. Will the car be suitable for everybody? Of course not, but it will be suitable for some and that’s all that matters.
Distribution is expected to begin in Texas shortly and there are plans to expand into other states in time. Everybody says the electric car revolution won’t really begin until there are inexpensive EVs available in the marketplace. Kandi has just fired the first shot in the coming low priced EV battle.
If you think Americans are not interested in low performance, low priced cars, go to Google and look up “Daewoo,” “Yugo,” or “Hyundai Excel.” For many shoppers, the three most important words when buying a new car are the price, the price, and the price. Never say never, in other words.
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.