You never own the battery, but you get a great deal on charging it.
UPDATE (06/23): This story has been updated with information relevant to the VinFast Charged-Up Program's launch in the US.
The story of Vietnamese automaker VinFast keeps getting stranger. VinFast will bring two electric SUVs to America, the VF 8 and VF 9 models, but you can only purchase the car, not the battery. Instead, customers will lease the battery from VinFast as part of a confusing model that should theoretically save them money. Like many other EVs currently sold in the US, VinFast cars will include complimentary charging from Electrify America. Unfortunately, this deal previously only provided two free charging sessions up to 60 kWh and reduced pricing for an EA membership.
But VinFast is now bolstering its American charging offering to become what could be considered one of the most comprehensive add-ons for any EV.
Called VinFast Charged Up, the program caters to two options for American buyers.
Option one builds on the previously available partnership with EA, but now gives VF 8 and VF 9 owners complimentary charging for three years with unlimited sessions. These can be redeemed at any EA charging station, which includes 758 stations at the time of writing with another 76 coming soon. These range from 150 to 350 kW stations, the latter capable of fast-charging.
Option two benefits those who own their own homes, in that VinFast will give you a free Level 2 Home Charger and $1,200 credit towards the installation with a VinFast service partner.
Additionally, anyone reserving one of the new VinFast models under the Charged-Up Program gets one year of free access to the VinFast Smart Driving package. This package adds several Level 2+ advanced driver assistance systems, including automatic lane changing, smart parking assist, remote parking assist, and smart summon mode (with an OTA update), plus a Smart Services suite with voice assistants (including Cerence and Alexa), geo-fencing, time-fencing, live traffic, satellite view, in-car shopping, virtual assistant, streaming apps, games, web browsers, smart home control, and more.
Early adopters of VinFast products who purchase in 2022 and 2023 also benefit from what the brand deems a "rewarding permanent battery subscription rate for the entire vehicle life." VinFast is aiming to make EV ownership affordable with no hidden costs, which is a smart way to try and breach the world's second-largest automotive market in a meaningful way.