Not-so-VinFast, Decentralized Power, $40M Pay Cut


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Welcome to a beautiful week in Retail Auto. This morning we’re talking about some less than flattering reviews of the new VF8, a partnership to leverage EV tech to put power back into the grid, as well as a pay cut for the CEO of one of the world's biggest companies.

  • As Vietnamese EV automaker VinFast gears up to begin US Deliveries, the pricing and specs of their first crossover, the VF8, is already being met with a variety of consumer resistance
    • FIrst is the price coming in at $56,700 for a vehicle that has a battery range of only 179 miles from a sizable 82 kw battery
      • To compare Hyundai Ioniq 5 has 266 miles of range and starts just over $42k
      • Other EVs, such as the Kia EV6, Volkswagen ID4, and Ford Mustang Mach-E also have higher range at lower prices
    • Customers also seem to be confused about the battery leasing model which is separate from the vehicle lease and based on miles driven
    • Reviews from CES test drives have been less than flattering with one YouTuber titling their video "I Drive the VinFast VF 8 for the First Time! And I Really Wish I Didn't," as they talk about looks, missing items, the UI, and a bit of a rattle with a 3 out of 10 “livable, driveable”
    • In comparison, the Chevy Bolt costs about half as much and has over 200 miles of range
  • Ford, GM, and…Google are teaming up promote the advancement and adoption of Virtual Power Plants (VPPs) to help take strain off power grids during peak demands and emergencies
    • With permission from customers, the tech pools together 1000s of decentralized energy resources like electric vehicles or electric heaters controlled by smart thermostats.
    • Switch thousands of households' batteries, like those in EVs, from charge to discharge mode or prompting electricity-using devices, such as water heaters, to back off their consumption
    • RMI estimates that by 2030, VPPs could reduce U.S. peak demand by 60 gigawatts, the avg consumption of 50 million households, and by more than 200 GW by 2050
    • VPPs have already improved grid reliability in such countries as Germany and Australia and in some U.S. states
  • We’ve been hearing a lot about scaling back in these recent days and not to be left out, Apple CEO Tim Cook requested a 40% ish pay cut from th $98M he made in 2022
    • According to an investor statement, Cook’s target salary will be about $49M as the company has seen a YoY sales decline
    • $3M base, $6M cash incentive and the rest in stock awards
    • Other costs: in 2017 the company made it mandatory that Cook travels by private jet for security and efficiency reasons
    • Over $500k on security and over $730k in private jet fees (146 hrs a

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