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Subaru Will Evaluate The R1e EV in the US This Summer

The Subaru R1e EV.

Subaru will begin evaluating its R1e electric vehicle (EV) in the United States this summer in conjunction with the New York Power Authority (NYPA). The plan will be officially announced 20 March 2008 at the New York International Auto Show.

Subaru will provide two Subaru R1e electric cars to NYPA for evaluation. The Subaru R1e will be on display at the New York International Auto Show, March 21-30. The Subaru R1e employs fast-charge lithium-ion battery technology that eliminates the typical lithium-ion battery issue of charge memory loss, allowing partial charges and quick charges that do not decrease battery life.

The battery pack, originally developed in partnership with NEC Corporation, uses lithium manganese oxide spinel (LiMn2O4) as the cathode active material. The crystalline spinel structure makes the battery resistant to overcharging and provides high thermal stability. A 346V battery pack powers the 40kW drive motor, and can recharge to 80% capacity in 15 minutes.

In 2007, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) said that it had developed new rapid recharge technologies that can recharge the R1e to 80% capacity in approximately 8 minutes—twice as fast as before. (Earlier post.)

NEC Corporation and Fuji Heavy Industries—the producer of Subaru vehicles—dissolved NEC Lamilion Energy Ltd. in 2006. Fuji Heavy Industries transferred all of the shares it holds in NEC Lamilion Energy to NEC and NEC Tokin Corporation, a subsidiary of NEC in the energy storage device business. NEC Lamilion Energy is continuing to develop and to promote manganese lithium-ion batteries for hybrid and electric automobiles as a wholly-owned subsidiary of NEC. (Earlier post.)

NEC and NEC TOKIN subsequently signed an agreement with Nissan to establish a joint-venture company—Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC)—to develop and market lithium-ion batteries for wide-scale automotive application by 2009, including applications such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and electric vehicles. (Earlier post.)

The two-seat Subaru R1e is capable of driving at speeds up to 65 mph with a range of up to 50 miles.



So the fast charge is 8 kWh in 8 minutes.

That's a 60 kW charger - easily believeable as they had them ten years ago!


John Taylor

Car manufacturers, battery manufacturers, power companies, and governments need to set some sort of universal standard that will let all parties use the SAME charging units, and let malls, restaurants, tourist destinations, and parking lots etc all install them.

My preference is to see simple 100 amp 230v 3ph power made available using a standardized GFI protected plug, with a "pay-for-it" card type system.

The idea of having many different proprietary systems that make recharging a nightmare is ... a nightmare.


At the very least any EV should have a standard (110 NA, 220 eur) plug in addition to whatever fast charge is available.


Agreed.  Standards for chargers are going to drive this, just as standards in disc formats and operating systems drove acceptance of personal computers.


Brands like Subaru, KIA maybe even Mitsubishi are in an image position to do EVs. Small, innovative and pioneering are traits people would expect in companies that do this. Customers might accept it more readily coming from certain brands. The companies are established enough to provide safety but flexible enough to innovate. This may sound odd, but GM and Toyota may be too big. It could distract from their core business, ICE cars. (hybrids are just a variation of that)
Subaru and KIA are not volume sellers in the U.S. They have a good chance at making headway and if they fail, it is no big thing. People expect large companies like GM and Toyota to succeed first time, that is how they got big.

Tom Street

I believe that Toyota owns part of Subaru, so this would be a win/win for them.

Tony Kelly

It is a shame that the bench mark for battery driven cars is the speed they can do. It is time we all realised that sustainability does not mean sustaining our present rate of consumption.


Speed and vehicle size are safety concerns. EV's have tough competition in ICE vehicles and as much as it would be nice to give them a handicap, the solution lies in getting EV's to meet needs instead of adapting to EV's shortcomings, while at the same time generating power in a clean and responsible way.


Is this going to be all wheel drive like all current production Subaru models?


John Taylor et al - look up SAE J1772. Your wish is granted!

Now you can sleep easy.

Harvey D

Intelligent chargers should automatically adjust their output to match the voltage and maximum current that a given vehicle can take.

However, the connectors will have to be standardized to avoid the need for expensive adapters.

OTOH, the chargers input characteristics will have to match what local power distributors currently offer:

1) 115 and/or 230 VAC, single phase for homes. Smart chargers could automatically adjust from 223 Vac to 115 VAC.

2) 220-380-440-660 VAC 3-phase for commercial charge stations seems to be logical.


People already handicap EVs. They think of small, slow golf carts when you mention them. They see something like the Tesla and it changes with image of EVs for a few, but most still handicap them.


Handicap EVs by thinking of them as small? Yes, exactly what I've been driving for 30+years...at least by American standards. & my cars have done 99+% (2 adults & 3 kids) of the things I needed done & saved much money. If we do standardize on 110V & 220V systems, small cars will be in the best position to take advantage. If Americans want & get big EVs, then they will have to take the hours(many?) necessary to charge on 220V. Only something like 440V or heaven-forbid 880V will give big EVs the convenience of stop & go that gas stations have. The block to EVs is trying to get some practical behemoth EVs on the road with the range Americans are used to. My electric bike putters around town with 1/700th the pollution of a big ICE vehicle & no pollution inside town. So make my EV small so it doesn't stress the grid as much as big EVs would. Stuff the rest of you who THINK YOU NEED something big. All other countries prove small does them nicely. Start learning you are on a wonderful but round planet Earth...that really has its limits.


Lots of people could get by with 100 mile range, but think that they need 400 for weekend trips. When you tell them that they could rent an SUV for the weekend and put lots of miles on a vehicle that belongs to some car rental company, they stop and think about it.

The car rental companies would like it. The electric utility companies would like it. Now we just have to show some collective leadership and DO it! I think the whole PHEV thing may put it over the top. People will start talking about how they charge at night and save money and clean up the air.

The one thing that people fear on this whole thing is getting stranded without energy to get home. Once you get over that it is easy to get people to change their ways. After all, if we do not change our ways they can have all the gasoline stations they want, but there will be no gasoline there for them to fill up.


To heck with small cars... no use for them. This is America... land of long drives and big roads. Small cars are death traps not to mention, you can't carry hardly anything.

On the other hand, a purebred American company, Phoenix Motorcars is making a truck and an SUV... all electric which quick charge in 10 minutes, and have a range of 130 miles.


John...Four hundred thousand miles of small cars & I ain't dead. Also, my small cars AVOIDED some crashes...at least crashes that big vehicles would have been in. You do not NEED big vehicles. Only your ego NEEDS a big vehicle.

Dr  Neil  S  Rogers

Thank You!




You know what they say: bigger the car the smaller the driver's...crankshaft


How much?!

Linas Tatarūnas

If the price of the car will reach just 17000/13000 USD and if Subaru will decide to sell the R1e in Europe’s market, many Europeans will buy it willingly. For example me: I always stay in position to drive economically and efficiently, so, I bought small, economical Citroen C2 (it uses just 5,5 liters of Gasoline or/and 7 liters of LPG per 100 kilometers long distance; CO2 emission - 120 g/km.). But, if I could get a chance to travel cheaper then I travel now (including zero emission), so - why not? I am sure, that many young gentlemen or ladies in France, Germany, Netherlands, or in Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia (because Baltic States are very dependent from Russians oil and good will) could select the Subaru R1e instead small cars of French, German, Italian or Japanese manufacturers (as Citroen C1 and Citroen C2; Peugeot; Renault Clio; Smart; Fiat 500; Mitsubishi Colt)

What I would like to found in my Subaru R1e? I would like to travel with the car 220 kilometer for single charge at least. But, possibility to reach 110 kilometer range per charge, also, is acceptable. (80 km. is not enough)

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