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Electric Subaru Due in 2009, One Year Early

25 December 2007

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd, (FHI) will start selling electric Subarus in Japan in 2009—a year earlier than initially planned, according to President Ikuo Mori.

FHI currently has 40 units of its electric R1e in operation in Japan in customer trials. The company is targeting first-year sales of its electric car at 100 units.

The price and specifics of the vehicle are not yet disclosed, but FHI said it plans to have its electric cars down to around ¥2 million (US$17,500) apiece by 2012 or 2013. Mori said that by the mid-2010s, mass production will significantly decrease the cost of batteries, enabling electric cars to come down to below ¥1.5 million (US$13,100).

In September, FHI announced that it had developed new rapid recharge technologies that can recharge the R1e electric car to 80% capacity in approximately 8 minutes—twice as fast as before. (Earlier post.)

In October, FHI introduced a new electric concept car at the Tokyo Motor Show—the 5-passenger G4e. Powered by a lithium-ion battery, the car is targeted to have a single-charge range of 200 km (124 miles). (Earlier post.)

December 25, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

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And when the EV Subabu will be available in Europe? I will certainly buy one.

Most people could go a long way with 8-minute e-charges every 200 Km.

A typical 600 Km day long trip would mean only two coffee-lunch/e-charge stops.

A longer 800 Km day trip could be done with 2 coffee/e-charge stops and one lunch/e-charge stop. This would not be really different than with current ICE vehicles.

With quick charge stations at every current gas stations, e-charges would not represent a major problem.

Let's hope that many more e-vehicles will follow soon. The 200 Km autonomy will progressively go to 300 Km, 400 Km and 500 Km as battery packs performance get better.

The future is to e-cars.

Let's hope this means Subaru will start selling them in the USA in 2010. I have to hand it to Subaru --and Mitsubishi-- for focusing on pure EVs rather than either parallel (Prius) or series (Volt) hybrids. We don't need hybrid vehicles, but hybrid garages: an EV like this one for 95% of our driving (commuting, errands, shopping, taking kids to school, lessons, soccer, etc.) and a "workhorse" vehicle for the other 5% (snow, cross-country trips, towing, hauling).

Harvey D. No way am I roadtripping in this car, would drive me nuts. Perhaps I am just younger or like driving that much, but I make the 500mi/800km drive to my parents in no more than 8 hours with just one stop. Longer trips, I aim for 700-800 mile days. 100 mile charges (8 min = 80%) would mean stopping at least 3x more often than I do now.
Also, there are many parts of this country where you might not be able to make it to the next gas station with even a 125 mile range, especially factoring in weather.

Sorry, but Yanquetino has the answer. I want a small commuter and a highly aerodynamic road trip car. Unless there is a tremendous revolution in both pack capacity and charge times, a road trip vehicle will need some kind of liquid/gas fuel for quick refills. I'll consider electric for that once I can get a 350 mile range in those 8 minutes (300 miles driving, 50 miles reserve)

Are you kidding? I live 13 miles for my work, the R1e would be perfect. If I want to go on a road trip, I can rent a car. If there's a waiting list...put me on it.

Subarau and ZAP are like GM and Ford.

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