On the New York auto present final week, Vinfast launched up to date pricing info for each of its forthcoming VF 8 and VF 9 electrical SUVs and supplied new particulars on its battery subscription program, which would be the first of its form for the U.S. market.
The battery subscription program will likely be supplied in lieu of a battery guarantee, which is obtainable by each different EV automaker at the moment. It capabilities in an identical manner, changing the whole pack if the battery dips beneath a sure charging capability threshold (70% on this case), and Vinfast is answerable for upkeep and battery restore prices alongside the best way.
This does in principle move the long-term value of the pack to the corporate, as once you purchase a Vinfast automobile you’re required to lease the battery. How that impacts retail and residual values, in addition to insurance coverage prices, stays to be seen.
Vinfast VF8 Prototype
There will likely be two completely different battery plans obtainable, referred to as Versatile and Mounted, designed for various prospects with different mileage wants. The Versatile plan prices $35/month for the two-row VF 8 and $44/month for the three-row VF 9 and covers 310 miles, with an overage cost per mile of $0.11 for the VF 8 and $0.15 for the VF 9. If the automobile is bought, the subscription coverage is transferred to the brand new proprietor.
For the Mounted subscription, there aren’t any mileage caps and it’ll value $110/month for the VF 8 and $160/month for the VF 9. Which means for those who personal a VF 8, you would wish to drive 681 miles per 30 days to make on the Versatile plan to achieve the price of the Mounted plan. Within the VF 9 that threshold is 773 miles. If you happen to plan on utilizing the automobile each day or to commute, that makes the bigger plan a no brainer but when not the maths is fuzzier. This makes the subscription plan really feel like old-school mobile phone plans the place you’d should attempt to determine what number of texts you might ship and the way a lot cellphone time you used every month. These plans pale out finally in favor of extra shopper pleasant limitless plans, and our guess is that one thing like that can occur right here as properly.
These subscription prices are vital over time, for the costlier plans it provides properly over $1,000 per 12 months to possession prices. Granted, the prices of the VF 8 and VF 9 relative to the competitors are low, however this does eat into these financial savings all through the lifetime of the automobile.
Vinfast says that this program is obligatory for VF 8 or VF 9 possession, but it surely’s successfully a stopgap resolution. Beginning as quickly as 2024, the corporate hopes to regulate this system so possession of the battery is break up 50/50 between the automobile proprietor and the corporate. But it surely didn’t present particulars on how a lot that may change the subscription value and mileage charges.
One different piece to notice: Vinfast additionally indicated that for those who make a automobile reservation and deposit for both automobile in 2022, the Mounted plan will likely be supplied for a similar price over the lifetime of the automobile. That’s good, but it surely does additionally suggest that for different consumers the value of the subscription is topic to vary.
Vinfast VF8 Prototype
Vinfast VF8 Prototype
Along with the subscription particulars, Vinfast additionally launched extra pricing particulars for each automobiles. The corporate is holding to its aggressive timeline of starting deliveries of each the VF 8 and VF 9 by the top of the 12 months, although we now have but to see absolutely realized prototypes of the bigger automobile the place the doorways open.
Each automobiles will likely be supplied in Eco and Plus variations, although the trim ranges don’t have anything to do with the battery sizes because the identify would possibly recommend. The Eco fashions are much less luxurious with artificial leather-based and a much less highly effective sound system, however have the identical 15.6-inch infotainment display and head-up show in accordance with the official spec sheets for the VF 8. It seems that each will characteristic normal dual-motor all-wheel drive and be supplied with a pair of battery choices, one with 82.7 kwh of usable capability and an prolonged model with 87.0 kwh.
The VF 8 will begin at $40,700 for the Eco model with the smaller battery, however upgrading to the bigger battery solely prices $300 giving that model a worth of solely $41,000. For the Plus it’s the identical hole, with costs of $47,700 and $48,000. It’s unclear which battery will likely be obtainable at launch, however that’s a small enhance for the vary good points. Vinfast estimates ranges of 260 and 292 miles for the Eco, and 248 and 277 miles for the Plus.
For the bigger VF 9 we don’t have detailed battery capability specs, however going off of the estimated ranges, the hole appears to be even bigger than the distinction in capability. Vinfast lists an estimated 272 miles of vary for the VF 9 Eco with the smaller battery, however 369 miles of vary with the bigger. Within the VF 9 Plus these figures drop barely to 262 miles and 360 miles.
Pricing is as soon as once more very tight between the 2 battery variations. The VF 9 Eco with the smaller battery begins at $55,000 with the bigger battery costing solely $56,000. The VF 9 Plus prices $60,500 and $61,000 respectively. For the VF 9 nevertheless, we now have extra readability on battery availability; solely the fashions with the smaller battery will likely be initially obtainable at launch this 12 months, with the bigger battery model to observe in 2023.
Vinfast VF8 Prototype
It’s exhausting to determine why the 2 battery variations are priced so intently given the distinction in vary. It could possibly be as a result of the corporate assumes these shopping for the bigger pack will drive extra miles and go for the costlier battery subscription, so it can recoup the distinction in that manner. Or that the bigger packs will come from Vinfast’s battery manufacturing unit, which is able to start to ramp up manufacturing in September, and pushing customers in direction of fashions with that pack is a greater play for the corporate.
I had a possibility to check drive a prototype of the VF 8 in Vietnam final week (extra on that to return) and there’s nonetheless a good distance for the corporate to go to get that automobile prepared for primetime. We additionally aren’t positive how customers will react to a battery subscription program, on condition that none at the moment exists right here. And there could also be loads of different normal consumer-rights questions that doubtless have to be answered if Vinfast goes to hit its formidable targets (together with U.S. meeting) and put its automobiles on U.S. roads later this 12 months.