Chinese electric startup Kandi announces that its small K27 electric car has been approved for California roads and it is going to cost only $7,999 in the state after incentives.

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.

Earlier this year, the automaker released details of the first two cars to hit the market: the Kandi K27 and K23 models.

Both vehicles are four-door compact cars with the K23 being slightly bigger than the Kandi K27. They respectively started at $29,999 and $20,499 before incentives.

They quickly realized that it was too expensive for the US market and changed the price to $27,499 and $17,499 respectively. Though they said that those prices are “for the launch” and should go up later, but the timeline is unclear.

After the federal tax credit, it would bring the price down to $20,000 and $10,000.

Now Kandi announces today that it received its certification by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the K27 and it will be eligible for the state’s extra $2,000 incentive for electric vehicles.

It means that the Kandi K27 electric car will effectively cost $7,999 in California for those who have a big enough tax burden.

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

“California continues to lead the country in reduction of carbon emissions through the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles – representing nearly 50 percent of sales across the U.S. – efforts of which should be largely applauded. This certification comes at a great time for Kandi America as the infrastructure put forth by state elected officials, including the Governor’s recent executive order banning sales of new gasoline- and diesel-powered cars and trucks by 2035, requires new quality, affordable products to enter the market quickly.”

Kandi still maintains that deliveries will start by the end of the fourth quarter 2020 — though it is also still looking for dealers.

Electrek’s Take

$8,000 is getting closer to what I think some people would be willing to pay, but I think it’s still going to be a hard sell.

With only a 17.69 kWh battery pack — limiting it to a range of an optimistic 100 miles, it’s really just a city vehicle.

That greatly limits the market, but I am still curious about Kandi’s foray into the US market.

We will be tracking it over the next few months.

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