Vinfast Wants To Sell The Cheapest EV In America At Under $20,000

Vinfast Wants To Sell The Cheapest EV In America At Under $20,000

Vinfast is considering adding a small EV to its lineup in the U.S., which could cost under $20,000. The Vietnamese automaker is struggling to gain a foothold in the U.S. with models like the Vinfast VF8, but the upcoming VF3 could be sold in America to appeal to those looking for an affordable EV, according to Automotive News.

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Vinfast calls the VF3 a “mini electric car” that’s slated for production soon, with orders already open and deliveries planned for late 2024 in the automaker’s native market. The VF3 was designed for Vietnam: it’s a ten-foot, two door EV that Vinfast claims will comfortably fit up to five adults. Take that with a grain of salt since Vietnamese and American automakers have distinct definitions of the term “can comfortably fit.” Chalk it up to cultural differences.

But affordability is universal, and the VF3 is meant to be a cheap EV with mass appeal. In the U.S., affordable new EVs are rare as automakers have prioritized flagship models that are too expensive for many, especially considering the concerns many Americans still have about EVs. One notable exception is the Chevy Bolt, which GM killed off only to later revive because it turns out a cheap EV is actually a good idea. Vinfast and its dealers agree, and they are keen on selling an EV in the U.S. that may start below $20,000. Per Auto News:

The company is “researching the demand and potential for the VF 3 model in the U.S., following the positive responses from our dealers,” VinFast said. “Further details will be announced in due course.”

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The company held two meetings with prospective dealers in the past month, one in Tampa, Fla., and one in Dallas, [Duke] Hale said. VinFast brought an actual-size foam model of the VF 3 that it uses at such events. It brought other models, too, including a production version of the midsize VF 8 on sale in California.

Hale said the dealers gathered, about 100 of them, were nearly unanimous in wanting the VF 3 for the U.S. market.

“They liked the whole lineup but the VF 3, I would say, got an almost 100 percent response,” Hale said in an interview. “They really liked the VF 3 and the reason is it’s probably sub-$20,000.”

The details of the Vinfast VF3 are unclear. We know the car will be 10 feet long and will come with 16-inch wheels, but range and output figures are unknown. Vinfast’s other (bigger) EV models have ranges starting at about 187 miles and up to 249 miles, but given the small size of the VF3, which would be even tinier than the Fiat 500, the upcoming EV will likely have decreased range.

That may not be such a terrible compromise at a price point below $20,000, which has been elusive for automakers in the U.S. despite promises of EVs becoming cheaper as the tech matured. Auto News cites Vinfast representatives who say that the VF3 may even qualify for federal tax credits under an unclearly defined leasing rule. If so, the VF3 would cost around $12,500.

Photo: Nhac Nguyen / AFP (Getty Images)

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Photo: Vinfast

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Image for article titled Vinfast Wants To Sell The Cheapest EV In America At Under $20,000

Photo: Vinfast