Subaru is stepping on the accelerator pedal when it comes to electrification, with the Japanese automaker announcing plans to build 400,000 EVs a year from 2028 by adding a second EV line in Japan to support the launch of four all-electric crossovers by the end of 2026.
Much like other Japanese automakers including Toyota, Honda, and Mitsubishi, Subaru is late to the EV party and now seems determined to make up for lost time.
Subaru currently offers a single all-electric model, the Solterra SUV twinned with Toyota's bZ4X, but the four upcoming crossovers will greatly expand its EV lineup. The crossovers are expected to be offered in the US, incoming CEO Atsushi Osaki said today as Subaru announced that operating profit nearly tripled in the fiscal year that ended March 31.
As part of its accelerated electrification plans, Subaru said it will add a dedicated EV assembly line at its Oizumi plant in Japan as early as 2027, with capacity for 200,000 vehicles a year. That will be in addition to a line at the nearby Yajima plant that will also have capacity for 200,000 EVs a year from around 2026.
Combined, the two lines will enable output of 400,000 EVs a year from 2028.
Gallery: 2023 Subaru Solterra (US)
Osaki also said Subaru plans to build EVs first in Japan, despite the fact the US market makes up approximately 70 percent of the company's global sales. This is an interesting decision considering that imported EVs will not be eligible for US tax credits, although leased vehicles may be eligible for some incentives.
Outgoing Subaru boss Nakamura said he is confident that Subaru's loyal customer base in the US would not be deterred by a lack of incentives for its EVs.
"I wonder if American consumers choose their cars solely based on tax breaks. Our U.S. customers are quality customers. We have a higher ratio of customers buying Subarus with cash, and we also have low loan and lease rates. We also keep our incentives at low levels. We will try not to rely only on the subsidy program."
The automaker targets annual global sales of 200,000 EVs from 2026, and said it will source batteries for the new vehicles through its alliance with partner Toyota.
Subaru said last year that it would get 40 percent of its global sales from electrified vehicles – battery electrics and hybrids – by the end of the decade and apply electrification to all models in the early 2030s.