NEW YORK — Vietnamese electric car company VinFast has been going to great lengths to show that it’s serious about entering the U.S. car market. It even filed an IPO and has a factory planned for North Carolina. And it’s looking more and more real, especially since its first two models have actual pricing now.
Two SUVs will be offered to start, the two-row VF 8 and the VF 9 (formerly known as VF32 and VF33 or VF e35 and VF e36). The former has a somewhat sleek and sporty look, whereas the latter has a boxy broad-shouldered design. The VF 8, in accordance with its smaller size, will be the most affordable of the two. It’s available in two trims, Eco and Plus. The 348-horsepower Eco has better range, and the 402-horsepower Plus is quicker. Each trim has two battery options. The breakdown in trims, pricing and range are listed below, though VinFast hasn’t specified whether these prices include destination charges.
- Eco, 260-mile range: $40,700
- Eco, 292-mile range: $41,000
- Plus, 248-mile range: $47,700
- Plus, 277-mile range: $48,000
The VF 9 has the same basic trim and battery structure. However, both trims make the same 402 horsepower. The difference in range is likely due to the Plus model’s additional features such as larger wheels, a panoramic sunroof and more. The trim, range and pricing is below.
- Eco, 272-mile range: $55,500
- Eco, 369-mile range: $56,000
- Plus, 262-mile range: $60,500
- Plus, 360-mile range: $61,000
The shorter-range options will be the only ones available at first, but the longer-range versions will be available in 2023.
One of the unusual aspects of VinFast will be the fact that, initially, the batteries will leased. So instead of the cost of the batteries being rolled into the cost of the car, you’ll pay monthly fees for them. The benefit of this is that the batteries have a lifetime warranty, and when the capacity drops below 70%, VinFast will replace them at no additional charge. So if you plan on keeping the car for a particularly long time, you won’t be staring down a hefty price for a battery pack, or plugging along with a suboptimal battery. Whether that makes sense for your pocketbook and use case will be up to you. To our understanding, VinFast will add the option to buy a vehicle and purchase the battery outright if you prefer, rather than paying for the subscription.
As for the pricing for battery leasing, there are two options. The Fixed plan is targeted at people who intend to drive frequently and put plenty of miles on the car. It has no mileage limits, and the price is set at $110 per month for the VF 8, and $160 for the VF 9.
The Flexible plan is for buyers who don’t drive often. The monthly cost starts at $35 per month for the VF 8 and $44 for the VF 9. This includes 310 miles of driving. Every mile past that is an extra $0.11 for the VF 8 and $0.15 for VF 9.
VinFast is currently taking reservations on its SUVs. As previously mentioned, it plans on delivering its first models this year, and longer-range ones are coming next year. There’s also a smaller and sportier VF 7 on the way, but the company hasn’t divulged mechanical or feature details about it.