Episode 310 with Sean Ackley: VinFast
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Episode 310 with Sean Ackley: VinFast

Image showcasing Electrify Podcast episode 310 with host Jarod DeAnda and guest host Matt Teske of Chargeway with guest Sean Ackley of VinFast

In this episode of the Electrify Podcast, we dive into the exciting world of VinFast with our guest, Sean Ackley. VinFast is on a mission to pave the way for a more sustainable future. With extensive global collaborations and substantial investments in research and innovation, they stand at the forefront of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution.


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Hosted by Jarod DeAnda and Matt Teske of Chargeway, Episode 310 features Sean Ackley, VinFast’s Head of Charging and Energy in the U.S. Together, they discuss VinFast’s efforts to simplify EV charging and democratize electric vehicles for a broader audience.

Sean, with seven years of EV experience, expresses enthusiasm for VinFast’s approach. Early EVs were often high-end, limiting accessibility, but VinFast is changing the game. They’re introducing a more diverse portfolio, including the VF3, a mini SUV priced around $20,000, designed for city life and beach getaways. VinFast’s goal? To make the EV experience less intimidating for newcomers.


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VinFast Innovative Hybrid Sales Model and EV Culture Exploration

VinFast is also embracing a hybrid sales model with third-party franchise dealers, starting in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ackley sheds light on the VF3’s technical details, tailored for urban living.

Shifting gears, the conversation explores the evolving EV culture, the cool factor, and electric motorsports’ potential. Sean shares his projects, displaying his passion for both traditional and electric vehicles.

Image showcasing Sean Ackley, Head of Charging & Energy at VinFast, speaking with Automotive Journalist Kristin Shaw in a fireside chat at Electrify Expo Industry Day in Austin, TX 2023
Sean Ackley, VinFast Head of Charging and Energy in the U.S., a guest speaker at Electrify Expo Industry Day in Austin, TX

Matt and Sean discuss the integration of EVs into motorsports, highlighting the evolving landscape. Technology now seamlessly blends with automotive, evident in events like CES, showcasing EV innovations.

From VinFast’s perspective, Sean introduces the VinFast VF Wild, a versatile concept vehicle designed for North America. It caters to various needs, blending utility and lifestyle features.

Questions arise about how the VF Wild fits into the American automotive culture, especially among traditional truck buyers. Sean emphasizes VinFast’s aim to cater to a wide range of consumers, adapting features and design based on evolving preferences.


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Jarod and Sean discuss the evolving automotive market, focusing on electric vehicles. They see VinFast’s VF3 as suitable for a broad range of consumers.

Sean underlines the importance of offering a range of vehicles, allowing consumers to grow with the brand, akin to a “halo car” that inspires dreams. VinFast aims to provide an entry point for EV newcomers.

The discussion then dives into EV infrastructure, tackling challenges and strategies. Sean explains VinFast’s approach of partnering with Charge Point Operators (CPOs) and unifying networks through cloud-based connectivity. This simplifies the charging experience.

VinFast VF8 was available to demo and test drive at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) at Electrify Expo in Austin, TX.

The concept of forecastable energy retailing, enhancing energy rates with CPOs, is introduced. The importance of reliability and real-time feedback in charging infrastructure is emphasized.

Matt highlights the significance of understanding the EV space as an ecosystem, focusing on customer experience, charging infrastructure, and the transition to electric mobility.

Jarod and Sean discuss VinFast’s presence at CES and their latest developments. Sean introduces a partnership with Sony, bringing in-car entertainment called Ride View Service, designed for stationary moments like charging.

electrify expo austin industry day press tour vinfast

Matt connects this to the challenge of dealer education in transitioning to EV sales. Sean emphasizes the need for comprehensive sales training, actively demonstrating features and services.

Jarod highlights VinFast’s diverse model lineup and its potential to cater to various market segments, including the VF3, VF8, and the VF Wild.

Matt and Sean discuss VinFast’s unique position in the EV market. Being a new brand allows VinFast to create a clear identity without legacy complexities. Sean emphasizes their commitment to continuous improvement.

The conversation touches on advancements in automotive technology, like Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), and its impact on safety and convenience. Sean shares his personal experience and passion for cars. Sean’s love for cars shines, and he stresses the importance of advancements in automotive technology for both performance and safety, especially as a father.


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IMAGES: ELECTRIFY EXPO

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AUTHOR: 

RANDI BENTIA

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