VinFast EVs Require Battery Subscription

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - April 18, 2022

Startup electric automaker VinFast from Vietnam stirred the pot when it announced plans to introduce two all-electric SUVs before the end of 2022. Then, the automaker went a step further by announcing a new complex in North Carolina where it would build electric cars and batteries. The automaker is certainly taking an interesting route to bring its EVs to market and recently confirmed another unique aspect of its vehicles – the batteries for its upcoming electric cars will only be available through a subscription plan.

We’ve seen some odd things with electric cars, but this is one of the strangest things an automaker has done. When consumers purchase a VF 8 or VF 9 SUV, the batteries won’t be included in the price. Instead, the batteries will be included as part of subscription plans. At the time of launch, VinFast’s batteries will be available in two subscription plans: Flexible and Fixed.

The Flexible plan is the more affordable of the two options and is meant to appeal to consumers that don’t drive a lot every month. The plan includes a monthly battery subscription fee of $35 for the VF 8 and $44 for the larger VF 9. This fee covers up to 310 miles every month. Once the odometer clicks over 311 miles in a month, a secondary fee that's charged by the mile kicks in. For the VF 8, the fee is $0.11 and $0.15 for the VF 9.

Drivers that cover more than 310 miles a month should look into the Fixed plan. It costs $110 per month for the VF 8 and $160 for the VF 9 and allows drivers to travel as many miles as they want every month. We think the Fixed plan will be the more popular option of the two, as it’s not a huge increase in pricing compared to the Flexible plan. Plus, depending on how far over the monthly mileage limit you go with the Flexible plan, you could wind up paying more than you would have by choosing the Fixed plan. The Fixed plan automatically transfers with the vehicle when it’s sold to subsequent buyers.

This battery subscription plan will be offered on 100% of the electric cars VinFast sells in 2022 and 2023. Starting in 2024, only 50% of the automaker’s vehicles will be eligible for the subscription program. After that, all cars will be sold with batteries.

While separating the price of the battery from the actual vehicle is strange, VinFast is going down this route to make its vehicles more affordable. Since batteries are the most expensive components of an EV, offering them as part of a monthly subscription makes things far more affordable. VinFast is also giving consumers peace of mind with one of the best warranties available on any EV. The automaker is backing its battery packs with a lifetime battery warranty that covers all maintenance and repair costs. Additionally, the warranty covers a free battery replacement when charging capacity dips under 70%.

We haven’t seen anything like this in America, but Renault has utilized a similar subscription plan with the Zoe EV in France. Only time will tell if consumers in America are interested in paying for an EV and paying for the batteries separately, but automakers are trying to introduce more subscription programs for features.

The VinFast VF 8 and VF 9 will arrive in the second half of 2022. Pricing for the V8 F will start at $40,700, while the VF 9 will carry a starting price tag of $55,500.

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Pictured: VinFast VF 9 (Top), VinFast VF 8 (Middle)

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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