Kandi Technologies Group (Nasdaq:KNDI), which operates a Chinese EV car-sharing service, saw its stock soar over 18% this week after announcing that it has posted a profit, and plans to expand to cities including Beijing and Shanghai. The stock has gained more than 300% in the last year.
Kandi, together with its joint venture partner, EV manufacturer Geely Automobile, provides vehicles for short-term hire using automated multilevel garages (known affectionately as “Kandi Machines”) in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.
Many see huge potential in Kandi’s unique approach – its all-electric fleet offers a cheap and convenient way to get around, and is a hit with government officials, who are struggling to contain choking air pollution.
“Kandi’s business model can bypass obstacles in the promotion of electric cars such as inconvenience of charging,” said industry analyst Harry Chen. “By expanding into more cities, it will help stimulate the overall electrical vehicle business in China.”
“I have been meeting local officials from other cities who have been visiting our company almost daily in the past few months,” Kandi Chairman Hu Xiaoming told Bloomberg. “They are very interested in our model and keen on promoting use of electric vehicles in their cities.”
Kandi has plans to add rental stations to public parking lots, hotels, department stores and high-speed train stations in Hangzhou, and is selecting local partners in Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu.
Lu Pin, a sales representative, rents a Kandi EV three times a week to make visits or deliveries to customers. “My boss makes it a rule for all staff who need to go out for business to use the rental EV instead of a taxi,” said Lu, who paid 21 yuan for a drive that would have cost three times as much in cab fare. “We save a lot of money and feel we’re helping to clean up the air.”