US NHTSA Approves 2 Kandi Electric Cars
The Chinese electric car manufacturer Kandi must be seeing the Chinese new year auspiciously. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) approved two of its cars for US sales.
The NHTSA approved the Model EX3 and Model K22, according to the company. We published expectations of this news back in August 2018. “Kandi Technologies Group announced recently that it has formed a partnership with Sportsman Country, a distributor of ATVs located in Dallas, Texas,” Steve Hanley wrote at the time. “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 Share Price Rises 40%
The news, unsurprisingly, sent Kandi’s stock up 35% on Wednesday.
Kandi Technologies Group and Geely Auto years ago formed a joint venture to work on and sell electric vehicles (EVs) together. Tens of thousands of their EVs have been sold in China since then. However, these were much smaller cars than Americans are used to and you could even get them via “vending machines.”
Although the new models won’t compete with the Tesla Model 3, the Kandi EVs are meant for a more American driving experience (though, one is still tiny). Kandi’s CEO Hu Xiaoming was quick to get the US-focused messaging rolling by saying:
“With this, we are confident in introducing our reliable vehicles to the American public. We believe both the EX3 and K22 are competitive in price and quality with advanced tech features that are in demand by American consumers.”
The Kandi K22 is a cheerful Smart ED look-alike. It sports modest performance, ideal for city-dwellers. The Chinese market specs are 990 kilos (2,183 lb), the EV sports a 25.9 kWh battery pack coupled to an electric motor pushing out 35kW (~47 HP) with 165 Nm (121.6 lb·ft) of torque for a range of 202 km (125.5 miles).
The other Kandi is the EX3. Its Chinese market specs are 49 kW (65.71 HP) and 175 Nm (129.07 lb·ft) of torque for a range of 380 km (~236 miles).
Does The Kandi EV Approval Mean The US & Chinese Trade War Is Over?
Overall, Kandi Technologies Group offers 5 EVs ranging from the above-mentioned K22 to a sub-compact K27, the compact EX3 mentioned in this article, a larger K17A, and the K12, which looks like the K22. While Kandi might not win the Automobile Naming Association’s imagination award of the year, the price might.
Kandi says it will sell the K22 at below $20,000 before subsidy. It could become the first Chinese subcompact EV sold in the US.
According to the latest political news, the US says there is a warming up in the tariff war between Donald Trump’s administration (and thus the entire US) and China. This is good news since, usually, the consumer ends up paying the price for those trade wars.