Thursday, August 04, 2022

EV Startup VinFast Hits U.S. With Novel Pricing Strategy

See EV Startup VinFast Hits the U.S., Opens First Showrooms In California by Sean McLain of The WSJ. Excerpts:

"The EV company, established in 2017 in Vietnam, plans to sell two all-electric sport-utility vehicles in the U.S. to start: a midsize SUV, called the VF 8, that starts at $40,700, and a larger VF 9, starting at $55,500. U.S. buyers can place orders now with deliveries expected to start at the end of 2022.

Unlike other EV rivals in the U.S., VinFast has a unique business model in which buyers pay one price for the vehicle, but then lease the battery for a monthly fee. The company offers two battery-subscription plans, costing anywhere from $35 to $160 a month, depending on how much the owner wants to drive, the model purchased and the type of battery.

The fee includes maintenance of the battery and replacement when charging capacity drops below 70% of its original capacity.

VinFast has said the battery leasing model brings the upfront price of its vehicles down $15,000 to $20,000, roughly on par with what many gasoline-powered models sell for today. The company also said it eliminates risks for the consumer because the service covers all repairs, maintenance and replacement costs, including swapping out the battery for a newer one."

So it seems like if you plan to drive less, you pay less. You pay a lower monthly subscription fee. This sounds like insurance companies charging you a lower premium if you accept a high deductible (that is the amount of, say, medical costs you have to pay before the insurance pays anything). In that case, you are planning not to use the insurance very much because you think you are healthier than average. In both cases those who use it less will pay less.

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