Vinfast: Bringing Vietnamese Electric SUVs to the Domestic Market!
Updated: Nov 23, 2022
Introducing the VF9 Large eSUV!
The Vinfast line-up would not be complete without a 7-seater large electric SUV model to bring it full circle. For this reason, Vinfast announced the VF9 to accompany the VF8 model detailed in my previous article.
Have You Ever Heard of Vinfast Electric Cars? Just Who is this Vinfast?
This car manufacturer, as mentioned in the previous article, is part of the Vingroup. Vingroup is the largest private company in Vietnam, which makes up 1.5% of Vietnam's GDP. Vingroup has its hands in just about every business you can think of. In their own words:
Vingroup aims to develop into a leading Technology — Industry — Services group in the region. We will continuously innovate, create sustainable ecosystems of quality products and services, to improve the lives of the Vietnamese people, and elevate the position of Vietnamese brands globally.
Whether focusing on technology, industry, real estate development, retail, or services ranging from healthcare to hospitality, Vingroup is involved. That is why it is not surprising they decided to jump into the automotive industry and, in less than five years, have become the leading car manufacturer in Vietnam.
Their sprawling factory was built in 21 months on what was known as swampland. The factory boasts nearly 90% automation and currently churns out their scooters, e-buses, and their line of internal combustion and electric cars. Important note: Vinfast plans to go entirely electric by 2023.
Aiding in VinFast's endeavors to go all electric, it was recently announced they have received a $1.2 billion incentive package from the State of North Carolina. This will make VinFast the first car maker to locate in the state of North Carolina . The new manufacturing facility will be built at the Triangle Innovation Point in Chatham County, North Carolina with a total investment of about $2 billion USD. Covering an area of 2,000 acres, VinFast's factory is designed to produce 150,000 vehicles per year.
Unlike the VF8, the VF9 starts with 20" tires as standard, with 21" and (22") available in the PLUS trim level. The panoramic sunroof also comes as part of the PLUS trim level, just as it does in the case of the VF8. Also, part of the PLUS package is a ventilated leather interior, as opposed to the standard leatherette.
As in the VF8, the VF9 is also equipped with a dual motor AWD (all-wheel drive) system. All trim levels have 402 hp and 457 ft-lbs of torque. This vehicle will go from 0 to 60 mph within 6.3 seconds.
With the availability of the extended range battery, the VF9 sees an estimated range capability of 369 miles, up from the standard battery of 272 miles.
Like the VF8, the VF9 is also equipped with DC fast charging. The batteries will be able to charge from 10% to 70% within:
Standard Range Battery: 26 minutes
Extended Range Battery: 35 minutes
As mentioned in my previous article, Vinfast offers a mandatory battery subscription program. You don’t own the battery; you subscribe to it in one of two ways.
You can subscribe to a Fixed Plan at $160/month. This is up $50 from the VF8 battery subscription. This would include unlimited mileage for those who are worried about range.
You can subscribe to a Flex Plan at $44/month, up from $35 (VF8). This would include 310 miles of range with the option to pay .15/mile for any overage.
The promise of a no-question replacement of the battery should it ever malfunction or fall below 70% capacity is a real positive. It will be interesting to see if this is the way of the future.
As mentioned earlier, this is a 7-seater large SUV, but they also offer a 6-seater option (pictured below)
The VF9 starts with a robust driver’s assistance package to accompany the included 11 airbags for safety. This includes:
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Keeping Assist
Lane Centering Control
As an available option, you can opt for Smart Driving:
Hands-free Highway Driving Assist
Traffic Jam Assist
Auto Lane–Changing Assist
The VF9 is $15,000 more than the VF8 out of the gate. Expect prices starting at $55,500, not including the battery subscription pricing. The overall cost will quickly rise once you begin to add options or even jump to the PLUS trim package. Vinfast expects to deliver its first vehicles by the end of this year. Welcome to the game!