Chinese EV startup Kandi has just announced a new lower starting MSRP.
As one of the most fervent supporters of zero-emissions vehicles in the world, China stands to gain from the United States' growing interest in EVs, and as we reported back in August, at least one manufacturer is making inroads. That's when Kandi, a Chinese EV startup, announced its pint-size K27 model would make its way to the US, with a price tag that would make it the cheapest new car in the country after the federal EV tax credit: $12,999.
But now, it seems the Kandi K27 will be even cheaper than expected; the company has just announced that when it lands in the state of California, the K27 will cost residents there just $7,999 after federal and state tax credits, with an MSRP of $17,499.
In states with lower EV tax credits, the Kandi K27 might be a tougher sell - assuming the company eventually expands the car's reach beyond California. But a $7,999 price tag after tax credits is certainly something to consider as industry-wide, MSRPs continue to balloon in order to account for growing costs related to safety and other technologies. It undercuts the average used first-generation Nissan Leaf in the US, only it's a brand-new car.
The Nissan Leaf comparison is entirely apt, in fact, given the K27's tiny 17.69 kWh battery pack, which yields a range of about 100 miles. That's actually better than early first-generation Nissan Leafs - or maybe "Leaves" - which only managed 73 to 75 miles from 24 kWh.
Of course, there are other compromises to be made here. The Kandi K27 has a rated top speed of just 63 mph, which is just barely enough to safely use on most US interstates, as at just 27 horsepower, we're guessing the acceleration is none too thrilling. But the cabin looks surprisingly decent, given the price point, and the Kandi emblem is entirely too easy to mistake for a Toyota badge, so if anyone ever asks, you can probably just lie and tell them it's Japanese.
Kandi does say that the K27's $17,499 starting MSRP is something of an introductory launch price, implying the price tag will rise some time after the brand has established itself, so if you're a California resident on the hunt for a cheap new pure-electric runabout, you're probably going to want to act fast.