|FHI President Kyoji Takenaka shows a prototype of the Subaru R1e.|
Nikkei. Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), the maker of Subarus, announced today that it plans to start selling a hybrid car built using its own powertrain in fiscal 2007. The carmaker also announced it will release the R1e electric minicar by 2010.
The hybrid will use a turbo engine and thin electric motor, as well as a lithium-ion battery developed jointly with NEC. Fuji Heavy expects the hybrid to deliver 30% better fuel economy and better acceleration than comparable gasoline-powered cars.
Press reports earlier in the year suggested a possible partnership between Fuji Heavy and Toyota for the hybrid drive. (Earlier post.) That, apparently, did not come to pass.
The company also announced that it will release the R1e electric minicar by 2010, and that the vehicle will begin roadtests in Japan this year.
Based on the R1 minicar (earlier post), the R1e uses a lithium-ion battery can be recharged to 90% of capacity in five minutes. The current prototype can be driven 120 kilometers (75 miles) without recharging, but the distance is expected to be expanded to 200 kilometers (124 miles). Fuji Heavy plans to start testing the R1e on public roads this year.
The company also unveiled a new capacitor with quadruple the energy density of earlier models.
More details to come.