The VinFast VF3 Is an Affordable Compact EV, but Does It Have What Americans Want?
A Vietnamese EV startup announced it’s bringing new EVs to the United States. VinFast already has one EV in America, but a new pint-sized VinFast VF3 could shift the electric vehicle market.
When fuel mileage regulations and the oil embargo of the 1970s occurred, small Japanese cars became much more popular than large American models. The same could be true for the new VF3. The current electric vehicle market is becoming too expensive for the average driver. A new sub-$20,000 EV could change this.
What is the VinFast VF3?
This new electric car could be a great option for drivers looking for a no-frills, affordable EV. The VF3 was recently revealed at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show. InsideEVs reports the VF3 provides only the bare necessities and just enough room for four people to squeeze in. Of course, if the salesperson hands you a shoehorn to get into the vehicle, you might be in trouble.
The VF3 is a two-door compact aimed at a price in the sub-$20,000 range. Hopefully, that’s where the price will be when it arrives. If it comes in at that price, it will be the cheapest EV in the country, making it much easier for the average American to transition to an electric vehicle.
How big is the VF3 compared to the Chevy Bolt EV?
The Chevy Bolt EV is one of the smallest electric cars in the US market. The new VinFast VF3 measures 125.6 inches long, 66.1 inches wide, and 63.8 inches tall. Compared to the Bolt EV, this is 30 inches shorter, three inches narrower, and one inch taller than the Chevy car.
Overall, this means the VF3 is smaller, but the worry should be that it’s narrower and taller than the Bolt, making it a bit of a pushover in a strong wind. Hopefully, the in-floor battery pack will keep that from happening.
Behind the VF3’s rear seats is a small cargo area. In fact, the rear seats must fold flat to open up 19.42 cubic feet of cargo area, comparable to many four-door hatchbacks. It’s important to note most four-door hatchbacks have this cargo room with the rear seats in the upright position, which isn’t the case for this tiny two-door VinFast EV.
Does this VinFast EV have a decent driving range?
VinFast aims to achieve an EPA driving range of 125 miles. In a market as expansive as the “sea to shining sea” of America, that driving range might not be enough. Sometimes, we take points away from electric cars that don’t offer at least 300 miles of driving range, which puts the VF3 far behind most EVs.
Still, the new VinFast VF3 could have a place in the American market. This small, affordable electric car could be useful in large cities. Drivers who only need a car for daily, around-town driving might find this new EV a good choice. Other drivers facing long commutes and suburban homes will likely look beyond the VF3 without giving it a second look.