First VinFast VF 8 Models Reach U.S Shores, Boasts 180 Mile Driving Range

VinFast promised it would turn the EV segment upside down when it announced plans to bring the VF 8 and VF 9 SUVs to the U.S. market. The young upstart company appears to have succeeded in some of its early goals and recently announced that its first shipment of VF 8 models has arrived in the U.S.


VF 8 Serves As Spearhead, But Sacrifices Range

When VinFast execs announced their plans last year, the company hinted that the VF 8 would have a range of 260 miles between charges. However, the first batch of SUVs appears to have sacrificed range in favor of making an early entry into the market. VinFast claims that these first VF 8s are part of a limited-release series called the City Edition, which was only available to “VinFast Pioneer customers,” aka early adopters. These models were never mentioned in prior releases, and VinFast chose the element of surprise when revealing this unique special edition.

The more noticeable thing here, though, is the lean range figure, with these models getting 180 miles of range versus the 260 miles of range that the main lineup will get. VinFast claims this is due to a smaller 82-kWh battery pack versus the 87.7 kWh battery pack in other VF 8s. The company claims that an OTA update in January will help boost the range, but it’s unknown how much it will improve after the update is installed. The range question also extends to other members of the VF 8 family, with VinFast’s configurator still saying that the model gets “up to 292 miles” on a single charge in asterisks. This could indicate that the non-City Edition models might get less than that amount when rated by the EPA, but only time will tell whether that’s the case.


Battery Subscription Service Delayed

In addition to the surprise appearance of the City Edition, VinFast also confirmed that its battery subscription service had been delayed. The novel subscription service would have given VinFast customers unlimited miles in exchange for a fixed $169 monthly payment on the battery pack. This subscription plan was a key selling point for VinFast and was originally a key cog in the company’s attempts to make the EV experience as affordable as possible.

While part of the delay could have come from confusion regarding some of the finer details, it appears to have also played a role in some of the recent price increases we noticed on VinFast’s configurator. In April, VinFast plans to sell a VF 8 Eco model for $41,200 after the $1,200 destination charge was added, with a VF 8 Plus starting slightly higher at $49,200. Fast forward to now, and a City Edition Eco starts at $56,700, while the Plus version starts at $63,700. For comparison, a non-City Edition model starts at $60,200, and rivals like the Mach-E offer more range and do it for less money too.



What Does It All Mean for VinFast?

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that VinFast is still a young company and is using its time in America to learn and refine its operations. We still look forward to spending more time with the VF 8 and other members of the VinFast lineup in the future. Our brief time in one at the New York Auto Show helped us see some of what the interior had to offer, and we look forward to learning more about the model and the company itself through more seat time whenever that chance presents itself.