The Law on reducing inflationas currently written, requires automakers to source 50 percent of critical minerals used in electric vehicle batteries from North America or U.S. allies by 2024, rising to 80 percent by the end of 2026.

The major automakers said those targets were unrealistic, and it was unclear how VinFast would meet the demands, the sources said.

“The IRA came as a surprise to all of us, but it doesn’t really affect our strategy in the US,” Tui told Reuters. “Once we start manufacturing cars in the U.S., our customers will be eligible [for] tax benefits”.

Last week, VinFast said Autonomy had ordered 2,500 electric vehicles, its largest corporate order to date. VinFast said it has nearly 65,000 orders worldwide and expects to sell 750,000 electric vehicles annually by 2026.

Behind schedule

The North Carolina plant project is several months behind schedule based on the company’s original goals, and the first shipment of EVs built by VinFast fell short of the original goal of delivering 5,000 cars built at the Haiphong plant by December.

VinFast officials said the number 999 for the cars sent in the first batch was chosen because it is considered a lucky number in Vietnam.

“There is no luckier number than 999,” Tui said. The Panamanian-chartered transport vessel used to ship the first batch of VinFast electric vehicles had a capacity of up to 2,000 vehicles, officials said.

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