Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup has revealed the battery strategy for the forthcoming electric vehicles from its VinFast automotive division. The company is making bullish promises about extremely fast charging speeds and solid-state battery technologies, working with a number of other firms to turn its vision into reality.
On the subject of charging, VinFast has struck a collaboration with StoreDot, a company developing a new charging technology – which uses nanoparticle anodes rather than the usual graphite – that is claimed to allow batteries to be juiced to 80% in just four to five minutes. The outfit said it has already demonstrated the tech on smartphones, drones and electric scooters.
VinFast is also partnering with ProLogium, specialising in the research and production of full solid-state batteries. The company has been working on them since 2013 and built the world’s first solid-state battery experimentation facility for cars in 2017. Solid-state batteries are considered the holy grail for electric vehicles due to their much higher energy density, wide operating temperature range and lower flammability risk.
The carmaker isn’t focusing solely on solid-state batteries, as it has also signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Gotion High-Tech to develop and manufacture lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, which are more stable, cheaper to build and more sustainable compared to lithium-ion batteries. Tesla currently uses LFP batteries in models sold in China.
On top of these collaborations with external partners, VinFast is carrying out R&D activities on its own, with a new subsidiary – VinES Energy Solutions JSC – working with other research institutes unsweetened the Vingroup ecosystem. The company said these three pillars will help it both achieve self-sufficiency in terms of battery supply and use the highest-quality batteries.
Last but not least, VinFast intends to build battery plants in Vietnam, Europe and the United States. This, said the company, will be important part of its aim of becoming a global smart electric vehicle company and aid the expansion of green transportation worldwide.
VinFast already has big plans for its immediate future, revealing the electric VF31 (now called the VF e34), VF32 (VF e35) and VF33 (VF e36) earlier in the year. The smallest of these, the VF e34, has a claimed 300 km battery range, is available to order in Vietnam and is slated to enter production in November. Meanwhile, bookings for the VF e35 and VF e36 are expected to open next month, with deliveries to kick off in February.
The company also plans to offer the cars for sale in Europe, the US and Canada starting next June, with customers set to be able to order the cars starting this November. It has already opened offices in Europe and the US, with the first showrooms expected to crop up in California.
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