First Drive: Kandi America K23

This story is sponsored by Kandi America but all opinions are my own.
by Michael Satterfield

Later this month Kandi America will be launching two all-electric vehicles in the US Market for the first time, the K23 and K27, each of them offering the lowest price point for an EV in their respective categories. The company which is based in Garland, Texas reached out to offer me the chance to be the first automotive writer to get behind the wheel of their flagship model the K23.


Kandi's other car the K27 is an ultra-compact city car, coming in at around a foot shorter than the Mitsubishi Mirage, but the K23 is a more conventional compact size comparable to a Chevrolet Sonic or Honda Fit. It is designed to primarily be a city car, offering an estimated 188 miles of range, in an easy to drive/park vehicle, all for less than any other EV on the market. Inside there is seating for four adults, ample cargo space, a folding rear seat, and all the modern amenities you would expect in a brand new car.


The K23 was dropped off at my house with a full charge and I was ready to start using it for my daily driver over the next few days. Sliding behind the wheel the first thing you notice is the taller than your average car floor, which explains the taller than average rocker panels. This is obviously due to the batteries being the floor, the added hight in the seating position gives you great visibility, but taller drivers might feel the need to lay the seat back a few more degrees.


The dashboard offers a very well designed digital dash with all the basic info for the driver, speed, battery life, wattage, and which mode the car is in, there are two Economy and Sport. Sport mode does seem to give the car a little extra boost of acceleration when needed. The dash also has a 10" touch screen for all of the climate-control, audio, phone, and backup camera, as well as displaying the time, estimated range, and other vehicle information. The seats are manual and covered in a two-tone leatherette, they are comfortable but don't offer a lot of adjustment. The shifter knob is located in the center console with a simple toggle from Neutral to Drive or Reverse you are on your way, the electronic parking brake automatically releases upon stepping on the gas when in gear.


The K23 drives like a normal car, while the 21-kW electric motor isn't going to win any drag races it does get up to speed, and even when on the highway at 70 mph it feels composed and comfortable. The fact that the K23 could be your daily driver around town, but still has the capability to take you nearly 200 miles is impressive, especially at this price point.

Standard equipment on the K23 includes a Battery Protection System, Vehicle Anti Theft System, Speed Sensing Door Locks, Antilock Brakes and Electronic Brake Distribution, Backup Camera, Handsfree Bluetooth Audio and Phone, Power Windows, Air Conditioning, and 10" touch screen. The K23 comes with a 4-year or 50,000-mile materials warranty, with an 8-year or 62,000-mile battery warranty.


Kandi is currently offering the first 1,000 customers who pre-order a special $2,500 discount which brings the price of the K23 down to just $27,499 with the federal tax credit a K23 will cost buyers just $19,999. Pre-orders are open to the public now and only require a $100 fully-refundable deposit with cars scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Kandi America is launching the K23 and K27 officially on August 18th at 10am CST, at a virtual launch event called Auto EVolution for All, to attend visit DriveKandi.com.

Want More? Watch my video on the K23.


This story is sponsored by Kandi America but all opinions are my own.

9 Comments

  1. Wish I could buy this car in Norway....

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would drive one for my daily ride

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's a really cool/ interesting car

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great job on both the article and particularly the video I had the opportunity to drive the first trial K23 late last year with Johnny Tai. My test was just that, around 15 miles in and around Garland to include both Interstate and a pothole filled industrial lane. The latest car that you drove, I assume has had most of the early modifications now included.

    What caught my eye with your excellent article was your first comment after actually driving the car. "The K23 drives like a normal car". Johnny can confirm while entering the Kandi America parking lot, my exact words to Johnny was "it drives like a normal car?

    I have visited Kandi in China a couple of times as well as KNDI America four or five times (I am from Houston), driving KNDI models on both continents. Before the K23, I had the opportunity to drive half a dozen KNDI models beginning with the KNDI CoCo, a small 35 mph lead acid battery LSEV that believe it or not, back in 2009 sold some 2000 units in the US! (Yes KNDI really is the first to bring EVs to America) From this, right on up to the 2018 EX3 (I believe they still have one or two demo cars in Garland) Each improving to the point that for the first time, I now felt that the K23 is an excellent car for the money that any seasoned driver, after a few minutes behind the wheel would forget about the uniqueness of actually driving one of the very first China EV in the US and feel like they are driving any small comfortable new car which would be perfect for a small family second car.

    If anybody wants to question the durability of the K23, There is a China version also just released that is the first EV to launch a new 300,000 EV China Government Accredited EV only Ride Hailing Program (like uber but all electric and in China). This first launch was just announced last week and from questions on this past Monday’s Investor Conference Call, the first City, Haikou, Hainan Province is taking 100 units right now along with a KNDI patented quick battery exchange unit for a 90 sec. battery swap. (Don’t anticipate this QBX in the US for at least a few years) Managements expectation is that after a few months test, some 12,000 K23s will be used in this one city over the next two years. The Company anticipates as much as 4000 miles per month will be covered by each K23 in this program.

    Kandi is a US NASDAQ public Company (KNDI) who is and has been strategically partnered with Geely Holdings, Worlds largest family owned Global car company owning the likes of Volvo, Lotus, Geely Auto Proton and several other badges. GH is also Daimler largest shareholder. Over the last six years, KNDI in partnership with Geely has manufactured and sold some 90,000 EVs (60,000 managing the plants with Geely) while Geely is not involved In this US K23 launch, I state this so a prospective buyer knows the K23 has a long EV pedigree.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is very cool, the car looks a little funky but I think for the price it will still do well.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Being that you can only go 200 miles; how long does it take to charge it up?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Replies
    1. It doesn't, but you can run it off your phone via Bluetooth

      Delete