Vietnamese automaker VinFast, despite being newcomers to the industry, have just rolled out their first production fully electric vehicle for sale in their home market.
Called the VF e34, this EV crossover, was co-developed in Australia and is coming to showrooms with a sticker price 690 million Vietnam Dong (VND), or around RM124,000 in our money. Not only does that seem like fantastic value, but it’s almost surreal to realise VinFast is barely even 5 years old.
Most companies spend all of half a decade in the research and development phase of an entirely new model, let alone an electric vehicle. VinFast certainly aren’t keen on slowing its pace, though, as the brand continues to sell its LUX A2.0 luxury saloon (based on an F10 BMW 5 Series) as well as the LUX SA2.0 (based on an F15 BMW X5).
The VF e34’s specifications seem modest but are pretty impressive for its price and its position in the mid-pack, where it locks horns with contenders such as the Nissan Leaf, Honda e, and Peugeot e208.
According to VinFast, this particular vehicle competes in the C-segment with an overall length of 4,300mm and a wheelbase of 2,611mm. A single electric motor powers the front wheels, delivering 148hp and 242Nm, powered by a 42kWh battery that’s claimed to be sufficient for an average range of 300km.
Unbelievably, they’re also providing it with a 10-year warranty and, as they state in their promotional material, will even provide a 1-to-1 battery exchange if the vehicle’s total charge capacity drops below 70 percent.
Further along its roadmap, they also plan to supplement their range of electric vehicles with the VF32, larger crossover, as well as the VF33, a large luxury SUV, both featuring up to 400hp and a range of 500km and are bound for export markets including the United States.
There’s no solid word yet about an expansion into other ASEAN markets, at least in the near term, though such a move would make a certain amount of sense. Then again, historically, we’re not the most welcoming to brands without a longstanding background, nor are we the most adoptive of electric vehicles, so their hesitation is understandable.
In the meantime, VinFast intends to establish a comprehensive EV charging network within Vietnam, with plans to erect about 40,000 charging ports across 63 provinces by the end of 2021, which is also when deliveries for the VF e34 are due to begin. But hey, at least we’ll have the MyKar.
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