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Vinfast is Coming to Town

2022 VinFast VF e36

This past Wednesday at the LA Auto Show, VinFast announced its intention to come to the Canadian and US markets with the VF e35 and e36 electric vehicles. So naturally, the first question on many people’s minds is, who? It’s no wonder. Vinfast’s marketing materials say the company managed to go from swap to high-tech automobile factory in just 18 months. VinFast is part of a prominent Vietnamese conglomerate called the Vingroup, a billion-dollar (US) company with businesses in various sectors. In Vietnam, the company claims to have become one of the best-selling car brands in just under two years.

Who is VinFast?

Vinfast is coming to North America with a pair of all-electric SUVs. This is their first time outside of Vietnam. Vinfast is also bringing the VF e35 and e36 to select European markets as well. Vinfast’s new factory is 90% automated and fully online to be ready for these large markets. In addition to the SUVs, VinFast makes buses and scooters. They claim Phase 1 production capacity of 250,000 units annually, with plans to increase to 750,000 annually with demand. For charging, Vinfast plans to ink deals with third-party charge networks. No word on what that looks like yet.

From a design perspective, the VinFast VF e53 and e36 get stylized by the famous Italian design house Pininfarina, who created the designs for previous Vinfast vehicles. As a result, the VF e35 and e36 seem to blend much of the familiar style of a crossover SUV. For example, the nose design reminds us of a Mitsubishi, while the taillights on the e35 have a hint of Mach E or Tucson about them. However, it’s the interior where the VinFast SUVs stand out, focusing on creating a business-class experience for everyone. From the images, it’s hard to get excited about the looks, but the interior does look impressive.

The VinFast SUVs

On paper, these two Vinfast products show promise and have won a few international innovation awards. However, the world of Canadian (and American) roads is very different than in Vietnam. So let’s take a look at the two SUVs coming to Canada sometime in late 2022.

VinFast VF e35

A two-row, five-passenger crossover intended to be the bread and butter of the Vinfast lineup. VinFast targets an estimated range of 460 km (285 miles) from the base-level battery and an estimated 510 km (317 miles) range from an upgraded battery pack. The VF e35 will have dual-motor AWD, producing a maximum of 402 hp and 640 nM of torque. While not the fastest EV crossover out there, the targeted 5.5 seconds 0-60 mph time is no slouch, either. In addition, you’ll get available smart services like a virtual assistant, built-in video games, app-based remote control, and an in-car office. Advanced driver assists include traffic jam assist, highway assist, automatic lane changing, automated parking, and summon mode.

MSRP is not available at the time of publication.

VinFast VF e36

A luxurious three-row SUV, the VinFast VF e36 brings business-class feeling to all seven passengers. For the larger e36, VinFast estimates a base electric range of 485 km (301 miles). The extended-range battery pack is estimated to have 680 km of range (422 miles). The same dual-motor AWD system in the e35 powers the e36, with 402 hp and 640 nM of torque. Because the e36 is more significant, the estimated 0-60 mph time goes up to 6.5 seconds. In addition, you’ll get the same available smart services like a virtual assistant, built-in video games, app-based remote control, and an in-car office. Advanced driver assists include traffic jam assist, highway assist, automatic lane changing, automated parking, and summon mode.

MSRP is not available at the time of publication.

The Future of VinFast

There seem to be a lot of new EV startups in the market this year. For example, Rivian is now delivering units and completed a stunning IPO with their EV pickup. In addition, Tesla continues to sell increasing volumes of vehicles. So it’s not surprising that emerging economies like Vietnam are entering the world stage. But we don’t know a lot about this young company, as any of the emerging EV brands. However, questions on build quality and reliability will remain until they mature some. For us, we have significant concerns about the location-based advertising systems built into both SUVs. We don’t need more things tracking us, especially for distracting in-car ads.

We’re watching late 2022 to see how the VinFast e35 and e36 go. There’s nothing wrong with more competition in this space.

Dan Croutch
the authorDan Croutch
Dan is a freelance automotive and technology writer. He enjoys all things pickup trucks, classic cars, and minivans (really). The intersection of vehicles and technology fascinate him.

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