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Vietnam’s sole car-maker begins EV deliveries

Hi-tech rules as VinFast welcomes first Vietnamese customers; plans US deliveries

6 Jan 2022

VIETNAM’S rising automotive company VinFast has delivered its first batch of EVs to Vietnamese customers complete with smart-tech features including multi-regional accent recognition and in-car access to services such as medical, aeroplane flights and entertainment.


The VF e34 EVs, delivered in the last week of 2021, are the first EVs from VinFast’s factory in Hai Phong, on the north-east coast of Vietnam. It is now showing five EV models at the 2022 Consumer Electric Show (CES) in Las Vegas.


VinFast, which previously held an office in Melbourne and owned the ex-Holden Lang Lang proving ground, used its sister companies that also belong to parent Vingroup to develop the e34’s in-car technology.


Its virtual assistant was developed by VinBigData, a member company of Vingroup's technology ecosystem, that has multi-regional Vietnamese accent recognition that allow users to directly interact with the vehicle.


Features include the ability to book services supplied by other members of Vingroup such as medical services at Vinmec, entertainment services and flights on the Vinpearl app. Car owners can also watch movies through FPT Play or shop through Shopee's own app.


The company said new features and utility services will be continuously updated to customers through remote software installation (FOTA).


VinFast partnered with MobiFone Telecommunication Corporation to offer customers optimal eSIM data packages. Every VF e34 delivered will be preinstalled with eSIM, and customers will pay a fee to use eSIM data directly to MobiFone.


The first 25,000 customers to order the VF e34 will get a complementary advanced feature package worth A$3600 that includes driver assistance systems covering safety, navigation, geo-limit and time settings. Customers who buy the car later will have to pay the fee.


The first batch of electric vehicles will also have a discount on VinFast’s new battery rental package for Vietnam. It charges A$41 a month for the battery for customers who travel less than 500km a month, and A7 cents a km for anything over 500km a month.


When the battery's charging capacity drops below 70 per cent, VinFast will replace it at no cost.


The company said it is committed to renting batteries for the entire product life cycle and will adjust its rental price annually. 


“Every year on December 1, VinFast will adjust battery rents and it will be based solely on the increase/decrease of electricity/gasoline prices,” it said.


“All 25,000 pioneering customers will get free battery rent for the first 12 months.”


The fee for charging cars at VinFast's public charging stations is the equivalent of 17c per kW/h. The company even charges owners who use the charging space but have finished the chage.


In a statement, VinFast said: “Customers who buy VF e34 cars are also gifted a 2.2kW portable charger to actively charge the battery with the home power grid.”


“VinFast also offers a 7.4kW wall-mounted charger with a price of VND 9,400,000 (approximately A$570) for customers wishing to install more at home.”


The company said it now expects to “continue to hand over thousands more VF e34 vehicles to customers who have deposited in advance.”


VinFast has also officially announced the launch of its new community project “To create a sustainable Future for everyone” with the goal of planting one million new trees. 


For each VinFast EV sold in Vietnam, VinFast will contribute a tree to projects that are restoring forested watersheds.

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