The electric vehicle world is an interesting place in 2022. As companies race to advance EV technologies, a number of startups have joined the race—particularly on the two-wheeled side. While some have clearly had more success than others, it’s always heartening to see new ideas emerge—even if they don’t completely get it right the first time. You have to crawl before you can walk, right?
One rather recent entrant into the EV realm is Vietnamese manufacturer VinFast. It’s not a household name in the U.S. yet, although it would clearly like to be. It’s a young company, but that’s why it’s done things like hire renowned automotive firm Pininfarina to design its mid-sized electric SUV, the VF8, and sign on to a global partnership with the IRONMAN long-distance triathlon organization.
Most EV makers have chosen to make either four-wheeled or two-wheeled vehicles—not both. That’s another way in which VinFast is different. Since we’re RideApart, of course, our primary interest is in the company’s two-wheelers—which I recently had the opportunity to check out in person.
While VinFast CEO Le Thi Thu Thuy announced that VinFast plans to sell its electric scooters in the U.S., as of July, 2022, it’s not clear which model(s) are planned for our market. That’s cool, because we know that not all our readers are based in the U.S. anyway, right? So, let’s tell you about all four of them instead.
VinFast Feliz S
The Feliz S is the least expensive member of the VinFast scooter family, and it’s clearly made to make every day commuting a breeze. It features a hub-mounted, 1,800-watt electric motor, with a claimed top speed of 78 kilometers per hour (about 48 mph). The battery pack is a 3.5 kilowatt-hour unit, offering a claimed 198 kilometers (about 123 miles) per charge. Charge time is approximately six hours, which makes it easy to stick on a charger overnight or while you’re at work or school for the day, if necessary.
The suspension consists of a telescopic hydraulic setup in front, with a coil spring and damper hydraulic setup in the rear. The Feliz S gets a disc brake up front, and a drum brake in back. It rolls on a pair of 14-inch wheels, and has LED lighting all around. Total vehicle weight including the battery is 110 kilograms, or just 242.5 pounds. Rated carrying capacity is 130 kilograms, or just under 287 pounds. It also boasts 25 liters of onboard storage capacity—which is always handy on a scooter.
In 2022, it’s available in five colors in its home market: Pearl White, Red Wine, Moss Green, Shiny Black, and Silver. MSRP on the Feliz S is 29,900,000 Vietnamese dong, which works out to $1,280 as of August 1, 2022. That price includes both the charger and VAT.
VinFast Klara S
The Klara S features several of the same specs as the Feliz S. It’s powered by the same 1,800-watt electric motor, which is hub-mounted. Top speed is again 78 km/h (about 48 mph), it gets about 194 kilometers (120.5 miles) on a single charge, and charging time is listed as six hours. The front and rear suspension are the same, as well.
So, what’s different? In addition to styling differences, the Klara S boasts disc brakes in the front and the rear. It also has a 14-inch wheel up front and a 12-inch wheel in back. While the payload remains set at 130 kilograms (just under 287 pounds), total vehicle weight including the battery is 112 kilograms, or just under 247 pounds.
The Klara S comes in five colors for the Vietnamese market in 2022: Navy Blue, Pearl White, Bright Red, Rough Black, or Green. MSRP is 36,900,000 VND, which works out to about $1,580.
VinFast Vento S
The Vento S features a more powerful, 3,000-watt electric motor that’s mounted on the swingarm. It’s a belt-driven scooter, like a lot of modern combustion scooters tend to be. Top speed is a claimed 89 km/h, or about 55 mph. The 3.5 kilowatt-hour battery charges in about six hours, and is good for around 160 kilometers (99-ish miles) per charge.
The suspension is the same as that on the Klara S and Feliz S, and the Vento S rolls on a pair of 12-inch wheels, front and rear. It gets disc brakes all around, with the addition of ABS up front. Maximum capacity is again 130 kilograms (just under 287 pounds), and total vehicle weight is 122 kilograms (269 pounds).
The Vento S comes in six colors for the Vietnamese market in 2022: Yellow, Shiny Black, Red Orange, Bright Red, Mint Green, and Pearl White. MSRP is 56,000,000 VND, or about $2,397.
VinFast Theon S
The Theon S is easily the sportiest scooter of the bunch—both in styling, and in character. It packs a 3,500-watt electric motor, which is centrally-mounted. This scooter is also chain-driven, which sets it apart both from the rest of the VinFast scooter lineup, as well as from many other modern scooters in 2022. Top speed is a claimed 99 km/h, or about 61.5 mph—and you feel it if you ride it. This scooter wants to go. The same 3.5 kilowatt-hour battery nestles under the footrest, and offers a claimed range of 150 kilometers (93 miles) on a single charge.
Disc brakes and dual-channel ABS come standard at both ends on the Theon S, and it rolls on a pair of 16-inch wheels, which makes the handling feel much more motorcycle-like. The maximum load capacity remains set at 130 kilograms (just under 287 pounds). Total vehicle weight on the Theon S is 145 kilograms, or just under 320 pounds.
The Theon S comes in just three colors for the Vietnamese market in 2022: Red, Black, or White. MSRP is 69,900,000 VND, or about $2,992.
What Are They Like to Ride?
While I only had limited time to check out the VinFast scooter lineup, I did get to experience the full range. After riding all of them, I can tell you that the Theon S, in particular, is a whole lot of fun. A VinFast representative told me it was roughly equivalent to a 300cc combustion scooter—and its zippy feel certainly felt that way. It also had the most responsive handling and brakes of the bunch, and it’s the one I could most readily see wanting to hop on and ride for everyday errands.
The Feliz S, Klara S, and Vento S are certainly attractive, and all feel solidly constructed enough (at least, on first ride)—but either their brakes needed bleeding, or they simply don’t brake as well as you might want. I’m not certain if that was something to do with the test units I was able to ride, or if that’s how they normally feel from the factory. In any case, with improved braking capability, there’s no reason I can see that a person inclined toward purchasing a lightweight electric scooter wouldn’t want one of these in their lives.
All four of these scooters, by the way, come with IP67 waterproof ratings—so yes, they’re ready for the tempestuous and rainy weather for which Vietnam is famous. They’re probably also ready for your rainy commutes elsewhere in the world, too.