As it prepares for worldwide expansion, Vietnamese upstart carmaker VinFast intends to woo buyers with a novel approach — decoupling the ownership of its electric vehicles from the batteries that power them.
VinFast plans to rent batteries to customers at a price that's similar to their monthly gasoline expense — about $100 to $150 a month depending on the battery chosen, according to Le Thi Thu Thuy, the company's newly appointed global CEO.
It's a blueprint that would buffer EV buyers from the risk of degraded battery performance over time. VinFast says it will replace a battery if it falls below 70 percent of its initial charging capacity.
It is a strategy that the young automaker laid out last week during CES in Las Vegas.
For VinFast, founded in 2017, the rental concept would help lower the upfront sticker prices of its EVs to a level similar to cars with internal combustion engines.
"The powerful point that should come across to consumers is they don't have to worry about the battery," Thuy told Automotive News. In current EV sales, she said, "after five to seven years, if the battery dies and they still have the car, it's going to cost $20,000 to replace the battery. Now they don't have to worry about it."