VinFast, a Vietnam-based electric vehicle manufacturer rapidly expanding its US and European operations, is set to bring its electric scooters to US riders.
Those electric scooters are of the Vespa variety, not the standing kickscooter style that has also gained popularity in the US over the last few years.
Not only is VinFast planning to bring its electric scooters to the US, but they won’t have to travel far, either.
Instead of importing its electric scooters, the company plans to build them locally in its upcoming North Carolina facility, which will also be used to produce its four-wheeled electric vehicles.
That factory is expected to break ground later this year, though actual manufacturing of the company’s vehicles likely won’t begin until 2024.
Assisted by a record-breaking $1.2 billion incentive package from North Carolina, the EV factory should help VinFast more affordably produce its electric scooters stateside. It is also expected to create thousands of local manufacturing jobs.
VinFast currently offers several different models of electric scooters, including the Vento, Feliz, Klara, and Theon lines.
While some of the scooters are designed for city use and sport slower 45 km/h speed limits, others embrace the open road with higher performance specs.
For example, the Theon line offers speeds of up to 99 km/h (61.5 mph), which should be able to handle just about any urban or suburban commute in the US.
At those speeds, even urban highways are a likely option, though don’t expect to hang out on the interstate for extended periods of time.
Unfortunately we don’t yet know which model(s) VinFast is planning to bring stateside, but we do know who the company will be competing against.
There currently exist only a few models of electric scooters available in the US. Beijing-based NIU is a leading seller of electric scooters in the US, though its scooters aren’t produced locally. The company offers multiple models that range in speeds from 28-60 mph (45-96 km/h).
I personally commute on a NIU NQiGT Extended Range model, which serves as my daily driver.
But other companies are entering the mix as well. BMW has recently brought its CE04 electric scooter to the states, though that is a much more powerful and higher speed model. It peaks at around 75 mph (120 km/h), putting it in a higher power class than nearly any other electric scooters currently available in the US.
Smaller scooters are currently offered by a number of regional dealers that ship across the country, such as CSC’s Monterey and Wiz scooters.
I had the chance to test-drive the CSC Monterey electric scooter last year, and had an awesome time on it. Not only did it turn heads everywhere I went, but it felt like I was going back in time while still riding an electric vehicle with the latest tech. Check out the video below if you don’t believe me.
With a limited and fragmented market for electric scooters in the US, VinFast could be choosing the perfect time to enter the local market with a domestically produced product.
A dearth of 30+ mph electric scooters that fit into motorcycle-class designations has led to excitement around recent commuter-spec e-motorcycle launches; that pent-up demand is likely exactly what VinFast is hoping to tap into when it brings its electric scooters stateside.
What do you think? Could you see yourself on one of VinFast’s electric scooters? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
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