Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020

JAN 2 2018 BY MARK KANE 32

Subaru is expected to launch its first plug-in hybrid in 2018 and also an all-electric model in 2020, but don’t expect the Japanese manufacturer to cut a special offering for its electric future.

Subaru Stella EV

The stand-alone model is apparently not the part of equation for Subaru, unfortunately.

Subaru intends to offer a battery electric powertrain as an option to a conventional setup in existing models, using a general platform that handles all powertrains.

Several years ago, Subaru offered the Stella EV, a converted ICE vehicle.  And at this point, we don’t know yet which Subaru(s) will be electrified.

Subaru’s chief designer Mamoru Ishii stated:

“Subaru cars are designed to support people’s lifestyles, so it should not be a case of designing the car for the powertrain. If customers want change we’ll respond – our cars are about customers loving using them how they are designed – but we are not going to change our design focus just to highlight a new way of powering the car.”

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Source: Autocar

Categories: Subaru


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32 Comments on "Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020"

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(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Any BEV released now sub 125 – 145 miles will be obsolete.

Hope they come out with at least 175 mile range.

Don’t count on it. I expect we will see a half a$$ed conversion of an existing car with minimal AER.


Take a look at any of Subaru’s electrification efforts so far. Mild hybrids, weak goals, it would take them a long time to catch up even if they wanted to.

Only one long range EV per family is needed. Half of all EVS can easily make do with 100 mile range or less.

People don’t buy to make do or what they need.

They buy what they want.

Only a handful of customers will buy a sub 200 mile EV when for the same or a little more money they can buy a 200 plus mile EV.

Subaru? I like their cars, but aren’t they the leader in purchasing PHEV credits from other manufacturers and putting PHEV badges on their ICE cars?

No, they put PZEV badges on their cars. Partial zero emission vehicle.

Maybe that’s why they’d like to build their own?

“Subaru Chief Designer Says Automakers First EV Will Be Based Off Existing Car, Coming 2020”

Nothing says “We don’t have any commitment to building and selling compelling plug-in EVs” like making a conversion EV.

🙁 🙁 🙁

And if Subaru will have its first PEV out in 2020, that means it’s hopelessly far behind in the race for mainstream EVs, and most likely will never be able to catch up.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

I pegged Sub to be second to last to get in the EV race. Mazda being dead last.

Don’t be cynical. This is great. Took ’em a decade and a half, yeah, but maybe now we’ll see a worthy successor to the Subaru Legacy 2.5 Spec B. Best sleeper ever, IMHO. A 4.25 0-60 PHEV would be very nice, and they already have the AWD wagon (estate) form-factor exceedingly well refined in North America If Fuji can build helicopter parts, I’m pretty sure they can figure this out. Plenty of room for one more OEM. The move also aligns well with their target demo here.

Since 2016, Subaru has been redesigning models based on Subaru’s “new” Global Platform, which supposedly was designed with hybrid and electric drivetrains in mind.

I don’t know if they truly can do a decent BEV on what I’m guessing will be the Crosstrek model, since that’s the model they target at millennial’s, but if it’s got their AWD system and decent ground clearance, I’d be very interested in it. It would likely solve two of the biggest issues with the Crosstrek (no power and cruddy cvt) and fill a segment that doesn’t have BEV offering (affordable awd cuv/suv).

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

“fill a segment that doesn’t have BEV offering (affordable awd cuv/suv)”

Isn’t the LG Bolt supposed to be in that classification?……….lol

No, the Bolt is FWD and has more traditional ground clearance vs Subaru’s. It is an affordable electric hatch/CUV though.

LG Bolt – nice one!

At this point it would be easier for LG to make a complete car than for GM to create a battery Gigafactory!!

Last time I checked no auto manufactures owns a cell making plant. Panasonic is co-located inside Tesla’s plant but they are separate entities.

Hyundai Kona likeliest to fil, that gap first.

Hmmm, you may be right. I don’t know their models, but if they put one out with AWD and 200+ range, I’ll give it a look.

What does China require, battery size/range, to be considered a PHEV?

I bought a Subaru Impreza 10 years ago because of the AWD power train, not the ‘design’ of the car (body).

Now I have a reservation in for a Tesla Model 3, again because of the power train, BEV + AWD.

“2 years from now..”

I’ve heard that before..

Yep, our electrified offering is fine years away and fusion power generation is twenty. Classic constents.

Subaru is not one to over promise and under deliver, especially when in comes to being the first to go Zero Landfill on the automotive car factory assembly plant. They win different eco battles for different reasons. Anything Subaru can do to complete with the Mitsubishi PHEV Outlander here in North America, would be well received if it had a 16 – 18 kWh battery and CCS fast charger capability. Thanks Subaru for listening to me go on and on at the LA auto show. This company actually listens to its target market.

Putting a 400 lb/18 kWh battery in an Outback looks doable.

A 40 mile EV with AWD and then hybrid capability for 35 mpg gasoline hybrid driving in Subaru would be a killer.

Be full EV for weekly commute then high low emission hybrid for the weekend in super capable car.

It will be coming, just not as quickly as some of us would like.

Haven’t they been paying attention at Subaru? The right way to do this is to announce that in the next 12 to 15 years you’ll electrify every car, and the PHEVs will only emit unicorn glitter farts from their tailpipes.

“we are not going to change our design focus just to highlight a new way of powering the car.”

Oh Subaru, I had higher hopes for you. AWD BEV BRZ would rock. Outfitting your Outback and Forester, with a decent PHEV system that could have really great outdoor amenities like folding solar panels in the trunk that could be deployed while parked for hiking and camping. Plugs for powering campsites. A long range Impreza BEV with dual motor AWD (in the 5 door trim). So many great possibilities to market to your market demographic.

There may be an advantage to being late to the EV game and being among the few manufacturers with US federal tax credits remaining. Presumably in the future, battery cost, and engineering know-how will have improved to reduce overall cost of R&D and manufacturing, and so a cheaper car can be produced while still reaping the full $7,500 incentives.

I would love a Full EV version of my loaded Outback V6! If it had a 200+ mile range.. I would pay more for it than the Tesla Model 3 that I put my $1k deposit day one on…

Why have you got the $7,500 tax credit? Isn’t it to encourage adoption of EV’s? So when is that milestone reached? Maybe Suburu and others will miss out if the government determines 10% adoption is a success, which could easily be reached by the current generation of 200mi+ vehicles.

I love our Subaru. We have had many over the years. BUT, I think they are being dragged kicking and screaming into this new reality. They have to ditch their famous boxer engine too; so it’s emotionally draining. I think they will lean heavily on Toyota for the technology, and since Toyota are taking their own sweet time, that’s one reason why Subaru is appearing slow.
They have dropped the ball on the new STI, so they must be working feverishly on future products and letting the halo car go.