Over the years, the Los Angeles Auto Show has been the scene of several important debuts. Just think of Rivian, which debuted its first vehicles there in the fall of 2018.
On Wednesday, it was Vietnamese manufacturer VinFast's turn to officially make its debut. For the occasion, the company launched two electric SUVs, the VF e35 and the VF e36. Both feature several advanced technologies that we'll have occasion to analyze in detail in the coming months.
Stepping out under the spotlight in the City of Angels represents an important step in the company's global expansion plan, by which it hopes to play a leading role in a new global reality made up largely of electric vehicles.
If the VinFast name doesn't ring a bell, you're not alone. The company was founded just four years ago, and until now, the vehicles it has offered have been BMW and General Motors products built under license.
Shopicar.com, 100% online, shop for your next car, buy online and get it delivered to you anywhere in Quebec!
By launching a new brand at a major show like Los Angeles, VinFast is putting Vietnam on the global automotive map. And the company has major local support. VinFast is part of Vingroup, Vietnam's largest conglomerate, which has already pledged $3.5 billion to the venture and ultimately hopes to produce 250,000 vehicles a year. Michael Lohscheller, VinFast's CEO, had this to say at the LAS show presentation:
“We are deeply motivated to inspire our customers to be bold and join the revolution to EVs to accelerate solutions that will address this crisis. VinFast believes that the 'Future of Mobility' will be one of smart electric cars that are highly personalized and integrated with technologies that benefit life and our environment. These vehicles will do so while meeting safety standards and delivering superior and comfortable driving experiences.”
- Michael Lohscheller, VinFast CEO
The featured vehicles are two SUVs: the VF e35 is compact-sized, the VF e36 mid-sized. The 35 version is equipped with an 86-kWh lithium-ion battery, while the 36 variant benefits gets a 90-kWh unit. To be clear, those numbers refer to usable power, The total capacity is about 96 to 100 kWh, but all electric vehicles keep a certain amount of capacity in reserve, as the complete depletion of a lithium-ion cell can cause damage.
The company promises 70-percent capacity recovery in just 15 minutes with a very fast charging station.
Of course, we're still a long way from the debut of these models. We'll have the opportunity to come back at you with more specific technical data in the coming months. VinFast's electric SUVs will be available for pre-order in the first half of 2022, with the first deliveries expected to follow before the end of that year.
The company plans to open some 60 stores in the United States and 38 centers in Canada with a significant presence in Quebec. Some will offer comprehensive service, others will simply be points of sale.