VinFast made news at the New York International Auto Show this year when it announced a novel scheme to price its batteries and vehicles separately. Under the program, buyers pay the lease price for the car and another amount for the battery, which comes with a mileage limitation.
Like a smartphone data contract, a per-mile charge kicks in once the limit has been passed. An unlimited-mileage option is available for a higher price. VinFast will offer the battery lease program through 2023, at which point buyers can continue renting the battery or choose to buy it. It’s completely different from every other automaker, even Volvo, which offers a vehicle subscription on models like the XC40 that wraps all costs into one monthly charge.
That said, the automaker’s pricing announcement wrapped the two charges together. In Germany, the VF 8 starts at €499 per month with an €8,650 first installment and the VF 9 at €699 with an €11,350 first installment. The VF 8 requires a €150 deposit, but the 9 takes a €2,150 deposit. The upside is that VinFast says it will give out either a €2,500 or €4,500 voucher, and the government will hand out incentives to cover most of the massive first installment. These are different than the incentives we see here, which at the federal level involve tax credits instead of an upfront reduction in costs.