Vietnamese EV Maker VinFast to begin shipping longer-range VF 8 to US in April
Electric car maker VinFast, which is backed by the country's richest man, is planning to begin shipping a second batch of electric vehicles (EVs) to North America on April 4. The company will send 900 VF 8 standard vehicles to California and 900 to Canada, VinFast Chief Executive Officer Le Thi Thu Thuy informed Bloomberg. Last year, the EV company sent 999 VF 8 City Editions to California. These had shorter range than the upcoming SUVs.
The company also plans to ship 700 standard VF 8s to Europe in mid-June. It expects to start delivering the standard VF 8 to US customers in early May and Canadians in early June. “We are working toward launching the standard VF 8 and will make sure to have all the required certificates at the time of delivery to customers," Thuy said.
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This will be VinFast's second North America delivery, and first to Canada. It comes as the carmaker tries to get a foothold in fiercely competitive overseas markets. However, its US start has been apparently slow. Forty-five City Edition electric cars, whose EPA-rated driving range is as much as 207 miles, were delivered to US customers at the beginning of March. The models are being offered at a lease price starting at $399 per month for 24 months, according to its website.
The upcoming standard VF 8 SUV's driving range is estimated to be 293 miles as per WLTP standards, the VinFast website mentions while the model's price is expected to start at $49,000 in the US and C$57,500 in Canada. However, the company is not expected to start production in the US until 2025.
Giving a reason for the VF 8 standard models to be shipped later than the City Edition models in the US, the company said that the City Edition cars were the first version of the VF 8 to go through relevant testing and approval processes in the country and therefore were available sooner than the standard models.