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Fuji Heavy (Subaru) Announces Plans for Hybrids and Electric Vehicles

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.



Electrics,fine,I am all for it,BUT,a car without a Heater and Air Conditioning is not going to go over very good in certain parts of the Country.


if there is a supply of 3phase + one neutral, 120Amps. is it mean that each phase can carry a current of 120Amps. or this 120Amps is combined in three phases.

i have above 3phase+one neutral 120Amps power supply. i want to take each phase seperately for different loads. so can i take in each phase 120Amps.

kazem mortaz

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Russell Phillips

Check this out. The cost (not in the link) is $70,000.00 I believe and it's in production now.

In comparison. the latest fuel cell vehicle. $1.5 million. Smaller, less range, etc...

- 90+% of driving for a household is for the work commute and little errands.
- Many families have 2 cars. One is usually only used for commuting. Only one car is used for trips.
- You already have an in house "gas" pump for an EV (a outlet). And the fuel is around 1/3rd the cost of gas during off-peak hours.

It would be fairly easy for most people to replace their "commuter" car with the EV car (above) and just keep using the "other" car for long trips. So even without the charging stations in place yet these are viable options for a truly impressive amount of people.

We are going to spend (just from a recent bill) $3.5 billion of our federal tax dollars over the next 5 years on R&D for fuel cells.

The EV cars already appear to be further along (getting from $70,000 to $20,000 on something so new will go a lot quicker then getting there from $1.5 million). And we already have the infrastructure to handle a huge amount of these. $3.5 billion could setup a pretty impressive amount of fast recharge stations I would think.

Anyway just some thoughts. Bumped into this thread right before bed so might not be completely clear here. Heheh. Night all.


Many countries already are reaching the limits of generation capacity. Here in North America we have power problems in summers on very hot days. So adding many electric cars cannot work if supplied from grid alone. In fact, the most viable configuration is a slow charge over night or during day and EV car used for local driving (limited range).

Moreover, most households will have to install solar panels on their roofs to augment power from grid. For instance, you could have 2 packs, one in car one in garage charging from panels and/or grid. In the morning you swap the packs so that there is always one pack full, ready for use and another charging. There are many possibilities. In any case, we'll have to have a local power source (solar panels, wind turbines, etc.) because grids cannot supply enough for everyone.

Using the 2 pack scenario, if cars were modular/flexible, they might accept 1 or 2 packs. So for local driving you use a single pack and when going on longer trips you use 2 packs and double your range. Just a thought.

Anyway, the point is thet additional sources besides grids will be necessary. Certainly car skins will have to be solar panels to provide a trickle charge. Homes will have to have solar panels and/or turbines. Only then we could have enough power for general use of electric vehicles.

The only other alternative is to build a bunch of new nuclear plants.

So quick charge is not very important as there won't be a source powerful enough to supply it. Solar panels and turbines together with grid should be able to supply a decent current for a charge of several hours, but not 15 minutes.

ed vandyck

Great discussion. Time for a postcard from Salisbury, UK.
You've hit the nail on the head, Bob. My £7000 ($11000) Reva G-wiz has got to be the slowest, smallest car on the road, with its 40 mile speed & range; 6 1/2hrs for a full or 2 1/2 hours for an 80% charge. But who cares? - as the second car, that's all we need for work and play. As I guess the thousands of US owners have also seen, overnight charging for local trips is practical. For my purposes there will be a few top ups during busier days. In emergencies, I find any garage, pub or householder is quite happy to donate the tiny charge currently required - at the moment! I particularly enjoy plugging in at the nearest Exxon oil refinery, visited in the course of my work... All this with plodding lead-acids, soon to be superseded on this model sometime this year. As the only production EV available here in the UK, this vehicle has been slowly gaining ground for 2 years, with road tax breaks, especially in London, keeping up the interest. I think the US define the Reva as a Neighborhood EV. Once it is developed to do about twice as much as it can now, trickle charge solar panels and all, I strongly suspect it will really take off in Europe. The main consumer hurdle will be to get over the concept of a 'local vehicle'.

Andi Bishop

2010 is 2 far away. This car should have been out 2005.
Whats 2 test? People want it. It would outsell camry. People crave this kind of car, but becuase of the mass decision for hybrids the average joe and jill dont have a clue to what is capable. The R1e shows exactly what is possible.
Why wait till 2010 when they could own the market now on EV's. Ford, Honda, and Toyota had thier chance but only made EV's to apease california law. It shows agian and agian that the technology is avial. After all Toyota had an SUV Ev! The RAV4ev! It was only for sale in California. Forget those oil sell outs. Who wants to pay mechanics the lawyer fee of 100 dollars per hour nowadays to work on thier car everymonth? No-one. The whole system of oil from the drilling, locations, chess game pollitics, 2 the car and mechanics is corrupt and must change. If Subaru wont take the courage to get this out and get it out now, then Im buying a Vectrix. Forget car compaines. Its all milkman hybrids , when it is more the possible to get of oil completely.
Good luck and pray for a miracle before 2010!.


What? Nothing on this page for over a year? What's happening with the R1e? If it were available in Australia, I'd buy one tomorrow. It has got to be the car of the future as second car, shopping car, commuting car, friend-visiting car. Come on Subaru - I've been driving one of yours for 14 years - and it was 5 years old when I got it! Don't drag the chain - are you lobbying the Oz government to get these little marvels an import licence? If not, why not? I could sell fifty of them in my small country town - and they'd have to be the car of choice in the cities.

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