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VinFast, A Vietnamese EV Company, Begins Shipping First Model To U.S.

Last week in a historical first, Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast sent the first 999 units of its VF 8 all electric SUV to the U.S. The cargo ship carrying the first ever Vietnamese EVs to be sold in the U.S. should arrive in California in mid-December and the first customers should begin receiving their deliveries by the end of the year.


Speaking of customers, according to The, the U.S. is the first export market for VinFast and even before the first U.S. customers get their hands on their VF 8s, VinFast is already planning to build a U.S. plant in North Carolina. They are doing this in order to take advantage of federal incentives passed under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that will only be offered for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles whose battery components and minerals are sourced from the U.S. or a country the U.S. has a free trade agreement with. Autonomy, an electric car subscription service, is expected to receive some number of this initial shipment of VF 8’s, but many of the first shipment will be going to individual recipients that have placed orders.

What’s most appealing about these new EV SUVs, besides their design, is their competitive pricing. The VF 8 is a 5 passenger SUV and the base model will start at $42,200 before any federal state or local incentives (and likely before any delivery fees, too). The low cost is in part enabled via an innovative battery subscription program ($169 a month for the VF 8). Forthcoming EVs from GM, like the Chevy Equinox EV and the Fisker Ocean as well as Kia, Hyundai and several others may be the VF 8’s primary competition.

THe VF 8 is described as a midsize, five-seat SUV that will only come in dual-motor, all wheel drive configurations. The VF 8 will also come in two versions. The entry level model will have 348 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque, which is greater than many of its rivals. The higher end version will have an even more impressive 402 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. These figures, in either version, are likely to be impressive to anyone shopping for a mainstream, midsize electrified SUV. When the Kia EV6 GT goes on sale in the U.S., it will offer a good deal more horsepower and torque (576 and 545, respectively) than the up model VF 8, as does the highest trim versions of the Ford Mustang Mach-E and likely others, but again the price difference between these will be significant, with the VF 8 costing substantially less than most of the competition.

Other details of note include two different battery options. The smaller of the two in the standard range version has 82 kWh and a larger version has 87.7 kWh. Both batteries will be available with either powertrain and the smaller battery, when equipped in the less powerful iteration of the VF 8, should provide about 260 miles of range, and the extended range version should have about 292 miles of range. In the more powerful version of the VF 8, the range is slightly reduced to an estimated 248 or 277 miles, depending on the battery version chosen.

Finally, a larger full-size EV SUV, the VF 9, will soon follow the VF 8 in the U.S. marketplace, starting at $57,500 with the battery subscription cost and $76,000 with the battery included. Power will be the same/similar as the VF 8, but the range on the VF 9 will be a good deal longer (369 miles WLTP is the target for the standard range version).

So what do you think? Are either of these new EV SUVs piquing your interest? More shipments are coming soon, so if the value proposition is there and your interested, it may be worth investigating further. Cheers!

Image courtesy of VinFast.

Justin Hart has owned and driven electric vehicles for over 14 years, including a first generation Nissan LEAF, second generation Chevy Volt, Tesla Model 3, an electric bicycle and most recently a Kia Sorento PHEV. He is also an avid SUP rider, poet, photographer and wine lover. He enjoys taking long EV and PHEV road trips to beautiful and serene places with the people he loves. Follow Justin on Twitter for daily KIA EV news coverage.