Vinfast Announce Battery Subscription Pricing for US

Vinfast VF 8 (formerly branded the e35)

Vinfast VF 8 (formerly branded the e35)

The cost of replacing an electric vehicle’s (EV) battery pack can be pretty sizeable. They are the biggest fixed cost in an EV and even with the price coming down as technology improves and the EV market grows and matures, the cost of swapping over to a brand-new pack once a battery system is out of warranty and no longer delivering the capacity required to effectively power the vehicle can be in many thousands of dollars (depending on the size of the battery pack).

Vietnamese carmaker Vinfast – the manufacturer of some very smart-looking EVs – is taking a new idea to the US market, revealing battery subscription plans for its VF 8 (formerly branded as the e35) and VF 9 (formerly the e36) medium and full-size SUV models.

It’s a solution that sees a customer buy the vehicle and effectively ‘rent’ the battery, and which the company says sees it take on ‘the risks related to the vehicle’s battery and ensures a reasonable price for its products, whilc providing customers with peace of mind about the battery’s quality during use.’

VinFast says it also commits to provide a lifetime battery warranty covering all maintenance and repair costs and will replace the battery for free when charging capacity dips below 70 per cent.

The company will offer customers two mandatory subscription plans – the Flexible and Fixed packages.

Vinfast VF 9 (formerly branded the e36)

Vinfast VF 9 (formerly branded the e36)

The Flexible Plan, designed for customers who travel infrequently, offers a monthly battery subscription fee of $US35 ($AU47.50) for the VF 8 and $US44 ($AU59.80) for VF9. This is a monthly fee for 310 miles (499km) of travel. From that point on, the battery subscription fee per mile is about 11 cents (15 cents Australian) for VF 8 and 15 cents (20 cents Australian) for the VF 9.

Rates for the monthly fixed subscription, which allows unlimited range, are $US110 ($AU150) for the VF 8 and $160 ($AU217) for the VF 9. The policy is also automatically transferred to any new owner after the vehicle is sold.

Pricing in the US for the actual VF 8 vehicle itself ranges from $US40,700 ($AU55,300) up to $US48,000 ($AU65,225) with the larger VF 9 starting at $US55,500 ($AU74,740) and the top model priced at $US61,000 ($AU82,890).

The 100 per cent battery subscription plan will be the only option available initially, but VinFast says it plans to adjust it at the end of 2023 at which point there will be a split where 50 per cent of models are sold with the subscription option and 50 per cent will be available to purchase with the battery.

It will be interesting to see how successful this plan will be.

Source: Motor Trader e-Magazine (May 2022) 

20 May 2022

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