The future of mass market battery-powered electric vehicles still seems to be fairly distant, with only Toyota and Nissan seemingly on the verge of putting their money where their mouths are and unleashing a legitimate plug-in automobile. For bargain-hunting urban commuters, however, there are a few interesting deals out there being offered by companies which are far from household names. One such manufacturer is Kandi, a Chinese automaker which has brought the Kandi Coco to the United States.
Unlike a standard car, the Kandi Coco is classified as a Low Speed Vehicle (LSV). What does this mean? In general terms, the tiny two-seat runabout is restricted to operating on roadways where speed limits are 35 miles per hour or less. This makes the Kandi CoCo far better suited to urban commuting than long-distance hikes. A closer look at the design of the Kandi Coco further reinforces this impression: the automobile is designed to hit a maximum of 25 miles per hour, which makes it a tad too slow for freeway duty, and its open door frames and miniscule size might raise a few eyebrows amongst even the most diehard motorcycle enthusiasts used to riding in such a seemingly unprotected manner.
That being said, if short trips around the neighborhood or to the downtown core are in order, then the Kandi Coco fits the bill. It offers a range of between 40 and 60 miles on a full charge, and replenishing the battery takes at maximum of six hours using household current. Far more interesting than its technical specifications, however, is its price. The Kandi Coco can be parked in your driveway for a cool $865 - provided that you live in Oklahoma.
Why Oklahoma? It turns out that the Kandi city car qualifies not only for a hefty $4,435 federal tax rebate, but it also manages to snag an even more impressive $5,299 tax voucher from the Oklahoma state government, thanks to its electric drivetrain. When these two windfalls are added together and then subtracted from the vehicle's MSRP of $10,599, the remaining sub-$1,000 amount stands out as a scorching deal for environmentally-conscious commuters.
If you happen to be one of the lucky ones who lives in Oklahoma and are looking for a practical electric daily driver, then you will need to hurry - the current one-two tax rebate punch is set to expire by the end of 2009. There are just a few days left to pick up a thrifty battery-powered vehicle from Kandi before prices head back to reality.