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The New Subaru All-Electric SUV Comes Into Focus At Shanghai Auto Show

When will Subaru offer an all-electric SUV? New information says it may be farther away than previously thought.

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Subaru Corporation is collaborating with Toyota on a new battery-electric SUV similar in size to the Forester compact SUV. Toyota will show its electric concept at the Shanghai Auto Show in April, but when will Subaru reveal its new EV SUV? A new report from Automotive News says Subaru will launch its version "within the next five years," Subaru said in December.

Toyota now owns a 20 percent stake in Subaru Corporation, and the smaller automaker will tap Toyota and its fast resources to build the new all-electric SUV. The new Subaru model will come into focus as Toyota's concept debuts next month in Shanghai, China.

2022 Subaru all-electric SUV, 2022 Subaru Forester
photo credit Design AG

Here is what we know so far. The Subaru all-electric model is built on Toyota's e-TNGA platform, a derivative of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). The Forester size electric SUV will compete against battery-powered models such as the Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID4.

The new Subaru EV SUV vehicle is created to underpin battery-electric vehicles in the U.S. before being offered in Europe, Asia, and other global markets.

2022 Subaru all-electric SUV, 2022 Subaru Forester

The Toyota platform is flexible enough to accommodate body styles such as a 3-Row SUV like the Subaru Ascent, a sporty sedan (Subaru WRX), a small crossover (Subaru Crosstrek), or a compact car (Subaru Impreza).

The AN report says the new Forester size EV SUV will also support rear-wheel-drive, front-wheel-drive, and all-wheel-drive layouts and battery sizes from 50 kilowatt-hours to 100 kWh.

Kazuhiro Abe, Subaru's vice president for product planning, says the new battery EV could use a front-wheel-drive structure with one motor and an all-wheel-drive variant with two motors.

The new Subaru EV will be built at Subaru's Gunma or Yakima factory in Japan. The Toyota EV will reach showrooms next year, but Subaru's launch date could be pushed out further. Subaru says it will launch its version "within the next five years."

Subaru is taking a slow and cautious approach to converting its overall fleet to all-electric technology. Subaru will rely on hybrid technology and has announced they will have an "electrified" lineup by the mid-2030s. The plan will include hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and its all-electric model.

Subaru is not expecting all-electric demand in the U.S. to increase anytime before the mid-2030s. "I don't know when, but EV demand will expand sometime," Abe said. "We think it will expand a lot. Maybe not in the early '30s, but maybe from the late '30s or '40s."

In an interview one year ago, Subaru of America CEO says the new all-electric SUV is still two years away. Doll said, "We will be introducing an SUV in a couple of years through our partnership with Toyota. I can't speak too much about the details about it, but needless to say, it's going to be a great electric vehicle for us and will be our first fully-electric vehicle."

Doll went on to say, "We have to provide that type of vehicle because the way the fuel economy and government CAFE requirements are, we need to have our lineup of full-electric models that are coming through the mid-2025 to 2030 models.

When Toyota reveals its first all-electric SUV next month at the Shanghai Auto Show, the new Subaru all-electric compact SUV will come into focus. Stay tuned.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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mika hajime (not verified)    March 22, 2021 - 7:44PM

error in the article, its Yajima factory, which also located in Gunma prefecture, not Yakima. I think it's most likely will be build at toyota's factory.