The electric car has a problem: it is expensive. For now, and until its production and purchase guarantee a reduction in costs and, therefore, in its retail price, the electric car It is expensive. At least on your purchase, then you would have to take stock of how much money you can save by recharging the vehicle at home.
But when it comes to purchasing the vehicle, the high price of the electric car remains an insurmountable barrier for many. One of the reasons for this high cost is in its battery. Although the electric car is easier to produce, it is estimated that 40% of its total cost is consumed by the battery.
In addition, the rise in the prices of raw materials, especially lithium, is putting in danger that the reduction in costs and prices will be reflected in the near future. Until then, VinFast has proposed a solution in the United States: subscribe to your battery.
Pay me and circulate what you want
The announcement has come with the launch in the United States of two new electric models. VinFast is a Vietnamese manufacturer that has launched its two electric SUVsthe VF 8 and the VF 9. Both models have powers of over 400 hp and autonomy ranging from 470 to almost 600 kilometres.
The launch price of the new VF 8 and VF 9 starts at 55,500 euros for the first of them and 60,500 euros for the second, larger one. But the surprising thing here is in a subscription to your battery. For a monthly amount, VinFast takes care of a complete guarantee as long as it is paid, including a replacement of it if it becomes necessary.
Specifically, VinFast offers two subscription plans. The first of them, called Flexible, is designed for those who travel 310 miles (almost 500 kilometers) or less per month and is priced at $35 for the VF 8 and 44 dollars for the VF 9. After this limit, the mile (1,609 meters) will be paid at $0.11 for the smallest SUV and $0.15 for the largest. That is, for every 100 kilometers that are traveled in excess, they will have to pay 6.84 dollars and 9.32 dollars extra, respectively.
The Fixed option, with a flat rate, allows you to drive without limiting the kilometers as long as you pay 110 dollars in the case of the VF 8 and 160 dollars in the case of the VF 9. In this case, they specify that, if you avail yourself of this option in At the time of booking, the price will be held for life and will be extended to the next buyer in the event that the driver subsequently sells his vehicle.
It’s not the first time
Although this decision by VinFast may come as a surprise, it is not the first manufacturer to take similar measures. During the early years of the ZOE, Renault offered drivers a battery rental service that lowered the price of the vehicle. By a monthly amountthe firm took care of any defect that might appear and replaced it without added expense if its capacity was below 75%.
However, Renault opted for another strategy almost 10 years ago. By contract, the company kept the possibility of capping the battery charge if the owner did not pay the monthly subscription. Something like a DRM that left the car unusable if the contractual obligations were not fulfilled.
This system makes sense young market where many still doubt the faults that the battery of an electric car can hide. With the payment of a monthly subscription, they have their backs and know that, if necessary, the manufacturer will have no choice but to replace this expensive component.
Despite everything, manufacturers are choosing to offer extensive guarantees (lasting about eight years) for electric car batteries. The problem is that, after this time, the degradation of it can force the owner to have to change it to continue taking advantage of his car. A year ago, replacing the batteries in a Tesla Model 3 cost a total of $16,000.
pay and forget
Batteries are not the only component of a car in which subscriptions they are gaining ground. The weight of software will be increasing and manufacturers are already clear that charging for these services is an important source of income in the future.
Tesla, for example, charges a monthly fee of between $199 and $298 for those who want to get the latest from its semi-autonomous driving system, FSD. Mercedes unlocks up to 10 degree rear swivel on the rear wheels of your Mercedes EQS SUV if the latest upgrade is paid for. Otherwise, the rear axle is only capable of reaching 4.5 degrees of rotation.
But, in addition, long-term rental formulas are also growing in the car. Most of the brands already offer rentals at the end of which you can pay a final amount and get the car or, on the contrary, return it at zero cost. A variant of this formula could be followed by VinFast because, although they have not offered more details, they point out that as of 2023, the 50% ownership of the battery belongs to the driver and the other 50% to the manufacturer.
Leasing and renting have also gained presence in recent years in our country. These payment formulas allow you to enjoy a vehicle (insurance and maintenance included) with the payment of a flat rate, although it also has mileage limitations. In Spain, renting is already present in 23.46% of operations. And although companies are the protagonists of the bulk of these long-term rentals, this option is also growing among individuals.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism