Chinese electric carmaker Kandi announced that it is bringing its electric vehicles to the US, making them the new cheapest electric cars in America — starting at $12,999 after federal tax credit.

Several Chinese automakers are currently looking to expand outside of China, and that’s especially true of electric vehicle makers.

Even foreign automakers, like Volvo and BMW, are now producing electric vehicles in China and exporting them globally. The Chinese-made Polestar 2 is due later this year. BMW is also looking at bringing Chinese made EVs to the US.

But when it comes to China-based electric automakers, Kandi is leading the way to sell first in the US.

Last year, Kandi announced that it received US approval to sell two electric cars in the country.

Now a year later, the automaker announced that it is starting sales next month and released details of the first two cars to hit the market: the Kandi K27 and K23 models.

Johnny Tai, CEO of Kandi America, commented on the announcement:

“Electric vehicles have been valued for years for their efficiency, sustainability and innovation. However, owning the ‘it’ car often eluded consumers who desired a great EV alongside all the other comforts of modern living.  Kandi is changing that by revolutionizing the EV-buying experience for many. Kandi’s mission is to make electric cars accessible to all. With these first two models, we are starting an Auto EVolution that will enable anyone, regardless of their financial status, to afford a reliable, high-tech EV.”

In the beginning, sales of the new EVs will be focused in the Dallas area where Kandi bought a company with a dealership license to facilitate the introduction of their imported vehicles.

However, they plan to quickly expand. More should be announced on August 18 at a virtual event when they will start pre-sales.

Kandi K27

The Kandi K27 is a small compact vehicle with only a 17.69 kWh battery pack — limiting it to a range of an optimistic 100 miles.

But it starts at just $20,499, and after the federal tax credit, it goes down to $12,999.

In some states, the small electric car will cost around $10,000 after EV incentives.

Here are some pictures of the Kandi K27:

Kandi K23

The K23 is a bigger brother to K27. It would still qualify as a compact vehicle in the US, but it is significantly bigger than the K27 and features a much larger 41.4 kWh battery pack, which should enable up to 180 miles of range.

It starts at $29,999, but with the EV incentives, the price should come down to closer to $20,000 in some key markets. That’s the same price as the 110-mile range Mini SE which we just reviewed.

Here are some pictures of the Kandi K23:

Electrek’s take

Here they come. China made EVs are going to be hypercompetitive in the low end market soon in Europe and the US. These Kandi cars don’t look amazing but if they can be had for the price of gasoline alone, they could be competitive, especially in cities and campus/fleet type of situations.

Quality and safety will be big question marks here as China has a different set of safety standards. Marketing and design will also play a key role here to determine if these are just electric Yugos.

It will also be interesting to see if the US Government continues to outlay $7500/ea for these in addition to state incentives. That is approaching half the total price of these vehicles while domestic players like GM and Tesla have to sell at full price.

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