VinFast revealed further information about its battery-electric VF8 and VF9 SUVs at the New York car show. Since the press statement was genuinely less clear than it was useful, your intrepid reporters and internet sleuths here at the CleanTechnica Giga Newsroom set out to find out the truth for our readers. Greetings to you!
BATTERY SUBSCRIPTION MODEL FOR VINFAST The main distinction between VinFast and every other EV producer operating in North America is that, at least for the first few years, the price of each VinFast vehicle will not include the price of the battery. Instead, a monthly subscription charge will be paid by the owners.
According to the company’s press release , it can keep the cost of its products lower than the competition while taking on all battery-related risks by keeping the price of the battery separate from the cost of its cars. It anticipates that this strategy will give owners piece of mind regarding battery life. Additionally, VinFast will offer a lifetime battery guarantee that will pay for all upkeep and repairs and will replace the battery at no cost if the charging capacity drops below 70%. It is believed that the battery subscription scheme would help customers migrate to electric vehicles more easily and will enable VinFast to become the “everyone’s car.”
There will be two subscription plans available. For the 5-passenger VF 8 and the 7-passenger VF 9, the first option, dubbed the Flexible plan, costs $35 per month and $44 per month, respectively. The owners receive 310 miles of driving per month for that cost. Drivers are charged an additional $0.11 per mile for the VF 8 and $0.15 for the VF 9 after the monthly allowance. The subscription policy is passed to the new owner in the event that the car is sold.
The Fixed subscription is the second option. There are no mileage restrictions, and the VF 8 will cost $110 per month while the VF 9 will cost $160 per month. This is how Green Car Reports explains things: If you have a VF 8, you would need to use the Flexible plan 681 miles a month in order to pay the same as the Fixed plan. With the VF 9, you might go 773 miles in a month before your costs matched the fixed plan’s pricing.
According to GCR, the larger plan is obvious if you want to commute or use the car every day; otherwise, the math is murkier. This gives the subscription plan a feel of more traditional cell phone plans, where you had to calculate how many texts and minutes you could send and receive each month. These programs gradually disappeared in favor of more customer-friendly unlimited options, and we predict the same thing will occur here.
Additionally, for clients who make a reservation for a vehicle from the model year 2022, the business promises that it won’t raise the monthly cost of the Flexible plan for the course of ownership of the vehicle. However, as GCR notes, that suggests the business could occasionally change the subscription fee of the Fixed option. The subscription model is designed to draw customers to the new business and allay any worries regarding the battery longevity.
VinFast contacted CleanTechnica to provide an update on the battery leasing vs. buy plan: After two years, we think that our brand and its value proposition will be well-known in the market. At that point, we intend to give customers the option of buying our EV with the battery or doing so through a battery subscription service. We calculate that each of the two options will receive about 50% of the vote.
PRICES ANDAMP; SPECS FOR VINFAST There will be two battery sizes for the VF8 5-passenger model: 82.0 kWh and 87.7 kWh. It is simply a wonder as to why there is such a minor difference between the two. Why would someone choose a lesser battery to save a pitiful $300 when the price difference is only $300? The larger battery won’t be available until sometime in 2019, thus the question is moot. Initially, just the smaller battery will be available.
There are two trim levels for the VF8: Eco and Plus. These trim levels have more to do with interior embellishments than battery size, with the Eco being the less expensive option with synthetic leather and a weaker sound system. Both vehicles share a heads-up display, two motors, and a 15.6-inch infotainment screen.
With the smaller battery, the VF8 Eco costs $40,700, while with the larger battery, it costs $41,000. With the lesser battery, the VF8 Plus lists for $47,700, while with the larger battery, it costs $48,000. Although there are no EPA ratings yet, the manufacturer predicts that the Eco’s range will be 292 miles with the larger battery and 260 miles with the smaller battery. These figures are 248 and 277 miles for the VF8 Plus, respectively.
The costing structure for the VF9 7-passenger vehicle is comparable. While the VF9 Plus lists at $61,500 (plus $500 for the larger battery), the Eco variant starts at $55,500 (plus $500 for the larger battery). But this is where things start to seem quite weird. According to the manufacturer, the VF9 Eco will have a range of 369 miles with the larger battery and 272 miles with the smaller battery. These numbers are significantly lower for the VF 9 Plus, at 262 miles and 360 miles.
Wait. What? Can owners add 100 miles of range for just $500 more? Something doesn’t add up in this situation, but it’s obvious that the larger battery for the VF9 will be far larger than the larger battery for the VF8. Just how much larger and whether that slight price difference will still be applicable when the larger battery is made available are unknown. Many of our readers enjoy performing the calculations, so we anticipate that they will specify precisely how big the optional battery needs to be in order to support the greater range estimations.
IN RELATED NEWS Clearly, VinFast has given careful consideration to its North American sales strategy. But it seems like it might be trying to be too smart by half. With so many options available, some potential customers may decide to purchase elsewhere and select none of the aforementioned possibilities. Customers’ knowledge of the battery subscription model has to be improved by the corporation. VinFast won’t have much time to launch once sales in America begin later this year since new ideas take time to catch on.
The company takes its aspirations very seriously. It intends to build a facility in the US in North Carolina to produce its vehicles and batteries for them. Additionally, it intends to sell its vehicles in Europe. We wish it success. Although the company’s cars are stylish and were designed in Italy, it has no history outside of its own market and the nations that are close by.
Many others believed they could successfully enter the US market. It was difficult going for Peugeot, Borgward, and others. Although it does well in Europe, Mitsubishi is a minor player in the American market. Hoping and wishing won’t make things happen. VinFast is up against a formidable obstacle. Is it capable of the job?
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