Vietnamese EV maker VinFast is preparing to ship its longer-range VF 8 standard edition models to the US and Canada beginning next month. The larger, more powerful VF 9 SUV will follow “in the coming months” according to the automaker.
VinFast hit the ground running after vowing to end internal combustion vehicle production and unveiling the VF 8 and VF 9 electric SUVs at the LA Auto Show in 2021.
The EV maker claimed within 48 hours of opening reservations for its new electric SUVs, the company was overwhelmed with 24,000 orders globally. VinFast moved quickly, delivering the first 100 models in September as it reiterated its intentions of becoming a global presence including in the US, Canada, and Europe.
VinFast continued building momentum, shipping its first electric vehicles, a batch of VF 8 models, to the US in late November.
Slowing its roll, the EV maker ran into some hurdles, delaying deliveries until March 1 to load the vehicles with its latest software. In addition, VinFast introduced a new pricing promotion for VF 8 City Edition buyers to keep pace with Tesla and an increasingly competitive US electric vehicle market.
The troubles continued with VinFast delaying planned production its first EV plant to 2025, a year later than intitially expected (although the automakers timeline was agressive to begin with).
VinFast is hoping a longer range VF 8 and new VF 9 SUV will help it build its brand in the US.
VinFast readies longer range VF 8, VF 9 US exports
After delivering the first 27 electric VF 9 SUVs in Vietnam Monday, one year after its introduction, VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy, says “we expect to export the VF 9” in the coming months.
The fully-electric VF 9 is a larger, three row SUV with AWD powertrain and two e-motors for a total of 402 hp. With 92 kWh battery capacity, the electric SUV has a targeted estimate range of roughly 272 miles (438 km) for the Eco version and about 262 miles (423 km) for the Plus trim.
The first edition featured a 6-seat design with two captains seats in the second row which is accompanied by a large arm rest.
However, it could be some time before the models reach the US with the the longer-range VF 8 coming first. VinFast CEO explains:
We expect to export the VF 8 standard edition models to the U.S. and Canadian markets in April 2023 and expect to soon deliver the VF 5 Plus model to customers in the Vietnamese market. Following that, we expect to export the VF 9 and open reservation for the VF 6 and VF 7 in the coming months.
The VF 8 City Edition Eco trim recently had its EPA estimated range increased to 207 miles, which is still dissapointing given much of the competition offers over 300 miles range.
As for the Plus edition, the electric SUV has a starting MSRP of $56,000 with 179 miles EPA range.
According to VinFast’s website the standard edition VF 8 has a targeted estimate range of 293 miles. A longer-range VF 8 will help the automaker better compete in the segment as competition continues to intensify.