Vehicle and battery would be sold separately
VinFast would replace leased cells under 70 percent
To help make EV ownership a little bit less of a sticker shock, upstart VinFast is looking at disconnecting the price of the battery from the price of the rest of the car. An arrangement that would include replacements if the charge level dipped too far.
“VinFast did collect both qualitative and quantitative market feedback regarding battery subscription,” VinFast Canada CEO Huynh Du An told Automotive News Canada. “Key findings included that a lower price of entry was intriguing to consumers, and they appreciated support plans the subscription provides.”
The automaker had previously announced a similar leasing program for U.S. buyers but has not revealed the cost of the program or the vehicles without their packs. VinFast’s global CEO, Le Thi Thu, has suggested that a battery lease payment would be similar to an average gas bill.
While this could put a slight dent in the ongoing savings of driving an EV, it’s the extra initial cost that is too tough to bear for many entry-level EV buyers. By separating the two, VinFast suggests that its EVs could be priced like a gas equivalent to start, bringing monthly costs for the vehicle payment plus battery more in line with the cost of a gas vehicle and fuel.
Du An also suggests potentially higher resale values. “On the contrary, a regular EV sold with batteries will have lower residual value because battery depreciation will have to be calculated, while the cost of the battery accounts for a large part of an EV’s value. Thus, customers tend to suffer more losses,” he said. “VinFast ensures that the value of the battery remains unchanged because old batteries with charging capacity lower than 70 percent will be replaced free of charge.”
Sales of the VF8 and VF9 are expected to start later this year in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal.