From the space to the road: A Professor and Aerospace Engineer’s Perspective on 6 Months of Driving the VinFast VF 8 Electric Car

Dr. Tony Nguyen is a UCSD professor and an aerospace engineer working for a U.S. defense company, with over 25 years of experience specializing in aircraft control systems.

As a pioneering VF 8 customer in San Diego, California, United States, Dr. Tony has been driving his VinFast for over six months and is actively involved in the VFFS – VinFast Friend Support group. Tony’s insights and tips on his VinFast VF 8 experience have proven to be extremely valuable for other VinFast VF 8 owners. Today, let’s delve deeper into Tony’s story.

Hi Dr. Tony, Can you recall the moment when you first decided to purchase the VF 8?

When I first saw VF 8 on the news, I was immediately impressed by its styling; however, what drew me most to the car is that it is a Vietnam-made car. I have a close friend and a neighbor, who are also VinFast fans. I would also credit them to be my influencers on buying the car. My friend and I talked a lot about VinFast from what we learned on the news. My neighbor was one of the first ones to own the VF 8. After visiting my neighbor and seeing the car in his garage, I was totally sold. I ended up buying the car even without any test drive.

Electric vehicles often come with unique driving experiences. What’s it like to drive an EV like VF 8?

I’ve had great experiences driving the car. The car is strong, much stronger than my old Lexus SUV. The drive is quite smooth and quiet. I did some measurements of the car’s vibration and noise to compare it with other cars, ICEs and EVs, and found that this car is either equal or better than other cars in terms of vibration and noise. It handles very well in all road conditions. The best experiences that I’ve had with my VF 8 is with its ADAS. The ADAS system works quite well.

Any memorable moments behind the wheel you’d like to share?

The most memorable moments behind the wheel were when other people driving alongside rolled down their windows and gave me their thumbs-up to show their admiration to the car. I feel very proud of the car that I’m driving. As for more memorable moments driving the VinFast car, but not necessarily behind the wheel, I’ve found many friends, most of them are owners of VF 8. We are like minded, and we talk with each other like very close and longtime friends. These are definitely the most memorable moments for me as a VinFast car owner.

Is there a specific trip or experience that stands out as particularly enjoyable or inspiring?

The most memorable journey with my VF 8 was when I took the car for a test drive to the Big Bear Mountain (7000 ft elevation) after only having it for a few days. BTW, I didn’t test drive the car before I bought it. I took my whole family on the trip and fully packed the car with all the skiing gears. This journey is memorable because I had such mixed feelings when taking the trip, against all advices of my concerned friends and family. I was part curious, part nervous, and part adventurous. I’ve never had any experiences driving an EV, let alone a new and unproven one.

I didn’t know how well it can climb the mountain, how well it can drive on snowy roads, and especially how I can charge the car from public charging stations. I’ve never charged the car outside of my home before. I didn’t even know if there were enough working charging stations on the road. I finished that trip successfully. I also learned from that trip that the regenerative braking system works really well. The car charged itself going down from the mountain. Anyway, that was a memorable trip for me.

Electric vehicles are known for being eco-friendly. How has owning the VF 8 changed your perspective on sustainable transportation and environmental conservation? Have you made any lifestyle changes as a result?

I am a strong believer in global warming and such. Driving an EV definitely is a way to help save the environment for future generations to come. I would encourage everyone to be more responsible to saving the earth and helping the future generations by creating a better environment for them to live in. Driving an EV is definitely the first step towards this goal. Transportation in general should also follow the same path. Switching from driving a gas car to an EV is in fact a lifestyle change for me.

The VinFast community consists of a diverse group of EV enthusiasts. What advice or tips do you have for fellow VF 8 owners to maximize their experience with the car and make the most of their electric journey?

My advice to the fellow VF 8 owners: Don’t be in it by yourself. Share, share, and share. VF 8, or any VinFast EV, is relatively new on the market and in development. Sharing experiences among drivers would definitely be very helpful to help one another. New cars always come with imperfections here and there. Sharing lessons learned from finding and dealing with issues would benefit everyone. Also, the manufacturer needs feedback from the drivers to improve the car quality. Not all problems can be found in the lab or in the developing environment. Collective driver experiences are the indispensable source of information to help the manufacturer. Please be open with VF on all experiences that you have with your car, good or bad.

Thank you Dr. Tony for joining the interview with VinFast Us Community. Your experiences and insights are inspiring stories for our members. We wish you all the best and hope you have best driving experience with your VinFast VF 8.

  1. Awesome! If a college professor in engineering is impressed with the VinFast VF8, no other voice can say otherwise! Congratulations!

  2. I love this advice “My advice to the fellow VF 8 owners: Don’t be in it by yourself. Share, share, and share.”

    That’s also the purpose of VinFast Friend Support: share tips and trick and connect with VF owners.
    Thank you for the extensive experiments you did about VF8’s cabin noise, vibration and swaying motion compared with other cars.
    VinYes all the way 😉

  3. Thank you, VF, for sharing my story. I should have mentioned VFFS (VinFast Friend Support) to all VF owner, too. This is a Facebook group for VF owners to share their experiences driving the car. I also should have mentioned Natalie Ly, who is the driving force behind this group. She is very knowledgeable about anything VF and extremely helpful to those who need help.