Kandi Technologies (KNDI +12.5%) is now up 59% from its Dec. 20 close. Shares have rallied thanks to a deal struck by a 50%-owned Kandi JV to assume full control of an EV company from Chinese automaker Geely, and growing enthusiasm about a project to offer EV rentals in Chinese cities via giant automated vending machines.
Kandi has set up two vending machines in the Chinese city of Huangzhou (pop. 8.7M); each offers EV car rentals for a price of $3.25/hour. Kandi plans to eventually offer 100K cars available to Huangzhou residents via 750 facilities, and to also expand to Beijing, Shanghai, and other cities.
No one will confuse Kandi's EVs with a Tesla Model S: The tiny cars have a maximum range of 75 miles, and a top speed of 50 mph. Kandi is counting on the convenience and cost savings it provides to urban Chinese consumers who don't need a car full-time to drive rental growth, and government interest in curbing pollution to yield continued state support.