Vietnamese EV maker VinFast hit a massive milestone Friday after receiving the green light to begin construction on its first US-based EV manufacturing plant in North Carolina.
VinFast to begin construction on US EV manufacturing plant
After debuting its electric vehicles to the world at the LA Auto Show and delivering the first EV models to ever be sold in Vietnam, VinFast revealed its intention to become a global brand.
Moving quickly, the EV maker first announced last March it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of North Carolina to establish its first North American manufacturing facility in the state.
VinFast initially said it would invest up to $2 billion in the first phase of the site in Chatham County, North Carolina, as it aimed to begin construction by September 2022.
In July, Chatham County and the state handed VinFast a $1.3 billion incentive package, the largest in state history.
The first phase is expected to have an output of 150,000 EVs per year when fully operational, while the second phase will focus on the battery production side of things.
After receiving the air quality permit from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Vinfast says it will “move forward” with construction. The next step will be obtaining a permit from the US Army of Engineers designed to minimize water and wetland damages. Yet, VinFast says the site is specifically designed to avoid impact to wetlands and isn’t worried it will hold them up.
Although VinFast didn’t specify when construction would begin, the EV maker is still aiming to begin production at the factory in mid-2024.
To expand its brand and access to resources in the states, VinFast filed the necessary paperwork with the SEC to go public and hold an IPO on US markets.
After shipping its first batch of VinFast VF 8 EVs to the US in November, it has since delayed customer deliveries, claiming it was loading the vehicles with the latest software.
VinFast says it plans to hand over the first VF 8 models to customers in the second half of February, but the second batch won’t be shipped until the second quarter of 2023.
The EV maker recently introduced a new promotional program for the VF 8 City Edition to keep pace in a competitive US electric vehicle market as it looks to establish a brand presence. For now, VinFast will continue manufacturing EVs at its Haiphong factory in Vietnam and shipping them to the US.
Once the North Carolina plant is online, it will help VinFast cut costs from delivery and streamline EV production in the US.
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