May 20, 2024

VinFast VF e34 electric SUV spotted in Malaysia: Can it survive our market? (VIDEO)


KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Hailing from Vietnam, VinFast might be the next automotive brand to release its electric vehicles in Malaysia. This is based on several sightings of the brand’s VF e34 electric SUV in Malaysia recently including by our team member.

This VF e34 electric SUV comes with an RHD setup

While Vietnam is a left-hand drive (LHD) market, the VF e34 that we encountered at Petronas Penchala Link is a right-hand drive (RHD) unit. This may sound odd but let’s not forget that VinFast has already launched VF e34 in Indonesia while it is also gearing up to do so in Thailand later this year.

We didn’t see any personnel inside or near the car during our encounter. However, local automotive outfit Careta has said that the EV was previously spotted with a driver wearing a VinFast shirt.

At the moment, the Vietnamese automotive giant has yet to announce any specific plan for the Malaysian market. That being said, the Marketing Director of VinFast Indonesia, Surachman Nugroho has previously said that the company’s assembly plant in Indonesia will supply RHD models to several markets including Malaysia although the factory will only be operational in 2026.

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Vinfast VF e34 quick specs, price, battery subscription

Originally launched in 2021, the VF e34 is equipped with a front-mounted 110kW (147 hp) electric motor that also produces 242Nm of torque. The company said that the electric SUV can go from 0 to 100km/h in under 9 seconds although did not reveal its top speed.

Powered by a 41.9kWh LFP battery, VinFast claimed that this EV can deliver 318.6 km of range although the figure is based on the more lenient NEDC standard. The specs sheet on VinFast’s website didn’t clarify the charging capability of VF e34 and only said that it takes around 27 minutes of DC charging for its battery to go from 10 per cent to 70 per cent.

Other notable features of VF e34 include 18-inch alloy wheels, 290 litres of boot space, 6 airbags, leatherette seats, a 10-inch infotainment display, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, a 6-speaker audio system, and a connected mobile app. Its Advanced Driver-Assistance System (ADAS) offers functionalities such as Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Parking Assistance, and 360-degree camera although the EV only comes with a passive cruise control feature.

Over in Indonesia, the VF e34 is priced at IDR315 million (~RM94,314) although this pricing doesn’t cover its battery. That’s right, you have to pay separately to have the right to utilise its battery which sounds a bit bizarre given that the EV does not come with a swappable battery.

The VF e34 battery subscription pricing in Indonesia starts at IDR1.5 million (~RM449) per month which covers mileage of up to 3,000km. If customers need to go more than 3,000km, the monthly service fee would then be IDR2.6 million (~RM779) instead.

Back in Vietnam, the EV was offered with a similar scheme too. Without the battery, the VF e34 is available for VND710 million (~RM135,031) while the monthly subscription for the battery ranges from VND2.1 million (~RM399) to VND3.5 million (~RM666).

Unlike in Indonesia, Vietnamese customers still have the option to purchase the VF e34 outright without the need to sign up for the battery rental service. This particular option pushed the price of the EV to VND830 million (~RM157,853) though.

VinFast VF e34 will face a tough battle in Malaysia

If the brand decides to release the VF e34 in Malaysia at the same price as its home market, then the EV will likely be facing an uphill battle. At between RM135k to RM158k, many would argue that getting a BYD Atto 3, Chery Omoda E5, or MG ZS EV is a much better option if you are aiming for an electric SUV.

Given that all imported EV has to be priced at RM100k and above, there is no chance at the moment for the VF e34 to be offered in Malaysia with the same sub-RM100k price tag as in Indonesia. Even if VinFast decides to offer the EV at RM100k, some customers might be turned off by its NEDC-rated range of 318.6km which is much lower than the Neta V although do take note that the VF e34 is still a much more powerful vehicle.

Furthermore, VF e34 also needs to fend off the electric hatchbacks such as the BYD Dolphin, MG4, or Ora Good Cat which are competing in the same RM100k space. However, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves and let’s see what VinFast has in store for Malaysia. — SoyaCincau





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