Even as Vietnamese automaker VinFast prepares the launch of its first two models in North America, the VF8 and VF9 SUVs, it is showing it is proactive in looking beyond them to the future.
This week, the company announced an agreement with Taiwanese start-up ProLogium, which specializes in EV battery technology. The goal of the partnership for VinFast is to have solid-state batteries in its vehicles, as soon as 2024.
For those not familiar with the technology, this is a new type of EV battery that will offer greater range and faster recharging times, as well as increasing overall safety compared to the liquid-state batteries currently used.
As part of the agreement, VinFast is also investing in the ProLogium firm.
“ProLogium and VinFast will together unveil smart electric vehicles powered by our market leading next-generation solid-state battery technologies. We are a major innovator in battery technology with already proven manufacturing capabilities and we aim to become a main driver for a sustainable world through high-performance, safe and affordable technologies.”
- Vincent Yang, ProLogium president and CEO
The two firms plan to develop solid-state battery packs that will be built at new plant ProLogium is building in Taiwan, scheduled to open in early 2023. They are also exploring a joint venture for a battery plant in Vietnam. VinFast already has its own battery plant in its home country.
VinFast, which is planning an IPO in the U.S., announced plans in March to build a plant in Chatham County, North Carolina, by 2024. It will be the first outside of Vietnam and will produce electric vehicles – including electric buses - and EV batteries.
In the U.S. market, VinFast will focus its efforts first on California, where the first of the company's 30 branches is set to open next week. The company also has big ambitions here in Canada.
The VF8 EV will be offered here starting at $51,250 CAD while the VF9 gets starting price of $69,750.