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VinFast hits another hurdle in its US electric vehicle expansion, delays EV plant until 2025

EV maker VinFast is facing another setback in its US electric vehicle expansion. The Vietnamese EV maker announced Friday it will postpone plans to begin production at its planned EV plant in North Carolina until 2025.

VinFast delays US EV plant operations until 2025

VinFast announced last March it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the state of North Carolina to build its first EV facility in North America and expand its manufacturing footprint.

The company initially claimed it would invest up to $2 billion for the first phase at the Chatham County, North Carolina manufacturing site, with 150,000 annual vehicle capacity.

VinFast plans to break the nearly 2,000 acres site into three distinct areas – electric vehicle and bus production (and assembly), EV battery manufacturing, and ancillary industries for suppliers.

In July, Chatham County rewarded VinFast with a $1.3 billion incentive package, making it the largest in North Carolina state history.

Construction for phase 1 was initially expected to begin in 2022. However, VinFast is still awaiting a permit from the US Army of Engineers designed to minimize water and wetland damages after receiving the air quality permit from the NC Department of Environmental Quality last month.

Now VinFast is pushing back plans to begin producing at the EV plant to 2025, a year later than initially expected. VinFast said in a statement:

We need more time to complete administrative procedures.

VinFast delivered its first batch of VF 8 electric vehicles to US customers on March 1, delaying the rollout over a software update, but says the second batch won’t be shipped until the second quarter of 2023.

Electrek’s Take

VinFast’s timeline was ambitious to begin with, so it’s not surprising to see a delay at this point. However, after making swift progress early last year, the EV maker has encountered several hurdles since that’s slowing its roll.

Giving the plant an extra year to begin operations may be the right thing to do right now rather than rushing to get it done and running into issues later.

I’m hopeful VinFast will be able to smooth things out and get back on track as it looks to build its brand in the US and globally.

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Avatar for Peter Johnson Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson is covering the auto industry’s step-by-step transformation to electric vehicles. He is an experienced investor, financial writer, and EV enthusiast. His enthusiasm for electric vehicles, primarily Tesla, is a significant reason he pursued a career in investments. If he isn’t telling you about his latest 10K findings, you can find him enjoying the outdoors or exercising