As competition heats up in the electric vehicle market, some manufacturers look at other areas to expand into and electrify. One such company is VinFast, which announced plans this week to produce and sell its electric scooters in the U.S.
The Vietnam-based EV manufacturer offers a variety of Vespa-style electric scooters, such as the Vento, Feliz, Klara, and Theon lines. While some of the scooters are designed for city use with under 45 km/h speed limits, others offer higher performance specs.
For example, the Theon line can reach speeds of up to 99 km/h (61.5 mph), which should handle just about any urban or suburban commute in the US. However, it’s not known which scooters VinFast plans to bring over first.
Instead of importing its electric scooters, the company plans to build them locally in its upcoming North Carolina facility, which it will also use to produce its four-wheeled electric vehicles. This 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.
Currently, many American cities offer electric standing scooters that riders can rent and ride around on. However, traditional electric scooters are also becoming popular for those with short commutes and those who want a clean way to get around town.
Currently, Beijing-based NIU is a leading seller of electric scooters in the U.S., but it imports all its scooters. The company offers multiple models that range in speeds from 28-60 mph. BMW has also recently brought its CE04 electric scooter stateside. It peaks at around 75 mph, putting it in a higher power class than nearly any other electric scooters currently available in the U.S.