Vietnamese automaker VinFast, which has turned to electric vehicles, has started delivering its first batch of electric SUVs to domestic customers.

What happened: The first batch of 100 electric vehicles was handed over to customers during a delivery ceremony held at its Vietnamese factory in the northern province of Hai Phong. The event was broadcast live from the manufacturing complex.

The company is also planning a foray into the United States and is preparing to deliver its all-electric VF8 and VF9 SUVs in the country. Mass production of 5,000 VF8 units for supply to the US and North American markets will begin next week, said VinFast’s global CEO. Lei Thuy reportedly told Reuters on the sidelines of the delivery event.

The company plans to begin overseas shipments in November, with deliveries beginning in December, Reuters. The two models – VF8 and VF9, would cost $42,200 and $57,500 respectively, he added.

VinFast’s new VF8 model is on display at the ‘Fully Charged’ event taking place at the San Diego Convention Center, California on September 10-11.

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Why it matters: Earlier in mid-July, the company said it received a $1.2 billion incentive package from North Carolina to build an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in the state. The company also announced the opening of six VinFast stores in California.

VinFast aims to be one of the top makers of electric vehicles over the next five to 10 years, company CEO Thuy reportedly said in an interview with Time magazine. With the battery leasing model the company envisions in an effort to lower the cost of ownership, it should give EV leaders such as Tesla, Inc. TSLA a race for their money.

Photo: Courtesy of vinfastauto.us