Automobile

EV startup VinFast to build $2B plant in N. Carolina

VinFast is part of the Vingroup conglomerate, with interests in industry, hotels, technology and real estate, according to the company. Vingroup, established in 1993, has a total capitalization of $35 billion from three publicly traded companies as of November 2021, the company said.

During a presentation at the CES show in Las Vegas in January, VinFast showed the VF 8, VF 9 and took the wraps off three additional EV models. The three newer vehicles are smaller crossovers, but the automaker didn’t offer details on future availability.

VinFast said at CES that pricing for the VF 8 would start at $41,000 excluding the battery, which must be leased via a monthly payment. Pricing for the three-row VF 9 crossover starts at $56,000, also excluding the battery. The first batch of deliveries are expected in the U.S. by the end of the year, VinFast said.

VinFast says on its reservation website that the VF 8 will have 402 hp and accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds. The automaker estimates the 5-seat crossover’s range at 316.9 miles, based on the WLTP standard used in Europe. The EPA range test in the U.S. generally results in lower numbers than the WLTP test.

The three-row VF 9 has the same horsepower as its smaller sibling and VinFast estimates acceleration from 0 to 60 mph at 6.5 seconds. Range is estimated at 422.5 miles on the WLTP test. The large crossover can be configurated with 6 or 7 seats, the automaker said.

North Carolina is the latest southeastern U.S. state to draw significant investments from the rapidly-electrifying auto industry. Earlier this year, EV startup Rivian announced plans for a $5 billion truck plant near Atlanta.

Ford Motor Co. will build next-generation electric F-Series pickups and advanced batteries at an enormous new “mega campus” in Tennessee.

And in Alabama, Mercedes is set to begin EV output at its 6 million-square-foot U.S. manufacturing plant, supplied by a new battery pack plant near its Vance, Ala., assembly operations.

Urvaksh Karkaria contributed to this report.

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