Chinese EV manufacturer Kandi will be unveiling two new cars for the US market, the K27 and K23, on 18th August
Electric Vehicles have managed to break into the mainstream in the western markets with their popularity rising steadily among buyers. While Tesla still rules the US market’s EV sales, there is plenty of opportunities for other carmakers to occupy the lower segments. Tesla’s lineup doesn’t have a proper inexpensive offering, something that Elon Musk has also addressed recently.
Kandi Technologies Group, an electric car manufacturer based in China, has decided to fill the lower end of the EV market space with two extremely affordable cars, the K27 and K23. The former will be the entry-level offering, priced at just around $19,999 (roughly equal to Rs. 15 lakh), thus making this the cheapest EV in the US. In comparison, the cheapest Tesla car, Model 3, begins at $35,000.
The styling of the Kandi K27 is quite simplistic, with a few design inspirations from other cars. The front end resembles a Mini Cooper, but unlike the Mini, the Kandi is not a low-slung two-door. Rather, it’s a tallboy four-door hatchback, with focus on practicality and cabin space. The interior design looks quite simple yet impressive, and the car even offers a large touchscreen infotainment system.
The Kandi K23 is the more premium of the two, priced at $29,999, and the visual difference between them is immediately apparent. The K23 is styled much sharper than the K27, both in terms of exterior and interior design. The front end reminds of the Toyota IQ, but all the curves seem to have been replaced by straight lines. The rear section features a pair of high-mounted tail lamps, with brake lights integrated into the C-pillars.
The four-door design stretches the car’s silhouette into an MPV-ish profile, and the tiny wheels and stubby front fascia further add to that. In fact, this looks more like a small van than a family hatchback. Thankfully, the interior design is much better. It gets a large touchscreen mounted vertically into the cabin, and a fully-digital instrument console, and there are soft-touch inserts added throughout the cabin.
The power and torque figures haven’t been revealed yet, but Kandi has claimed a driving range of 100 miles (160 km) for the K27, while the K23 will drive for up to 188 miles (nearly 300 km) on a single charge. Considering the low price, and the fact that these will be marketed solely as city commuters, the range seems quite impressive.