Vietnamese EV maker VinFast in not only bringing two new SUVs to the market in 2023 it is also introducing a new way to pay for them. While you’ll be able to buy or lease the vehicle, its battery will be leased separately. It is a system the company has used in Europe and China to help reduce the cost of its vehicles.
Here’s an example of how it works. The company’ VF8 model has a starting price of $51,250 and two battery leasing options. The battery can be leased for $39 per month for up to 500 kilometres, and, if you go over that amount, you pay an additional nine cents per kilometre. The second option is an unlimited kilometre plan at $139 per month.
There’s a 10 year or 200,000-kilometre warranty on every VinFast vehicle, and the battery lease covers maintenance as well as potential replacement.
Historically, battery lease plans have never caught on in North America. Smart tried it briefly on its ForTwo models and Renault discontinued offering it in 2019.
VinFast has heard the negative feedback about its leasing program and has said it will offer an all-in pricing option in the next year or so. Unfortunately for the company, the starting price of its EVs doesn’t seem much lower than other brands that include a battery in their vehicle cost. For a new player on the EV market, VinFast may have a tough time selling this to the consumer.
Michael Bettencourt bought his first EV in late 2011 and has followed the Canadian EV scene ever since. Follow him on Twitter @MCBet10court
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