What are Subaru's electrification plans, and when will customers see new battery-electric vehicles coming from the Japanese automaker? The 2023 Subaru Solterra is just the first step in Subaru's plans.
Subaru Corporation announced today its new electrification organizational changes took effect on January 1, 2023. Subaru says they can now react quickly to technology changes in vehicle electrification. Subaru says they plan to "accelerate environmental response by giving the newly established Technology Development Department the task of supervising each function on the value axis and setting up a team to promote electrification."
Subaru says its goal is to be an organization better suited for developing new technologies such as electric technology, software, and communications. Subaru announced in July its new Electrification Strategy Promotion Department.
Subaru and Toyota collaborated on the new 2023 Solterra EV SUV for its powertrain development. The all-electric Solterra arrived in the U.S. last year, and the first models were delivered to North American customers in November and December.
The Solterra offers customers the traditional Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek SUV's go-anywhere capabilities, with all-wheel-drive and extra ground clearance, but in a battery-electric vehicle.
Subaru stated in its STEP mid-term management vision statement; it will contribute to achieving a carbon-free society with Subaru's strengths and technological innovation. The automaker will accomplish this with "highly responsive electric motors, Subaru's all-wheel-drive capability and driving dynamics will be further enhanced."
Subaru core values will be transferred to new electric models
Subaru's core values are Adventure, All-Wheel-Drive Utility, Safety, Reliability and Longevity, and Capability. Subaru says, "We will further enhance this deep relationship between Subaru and our customers that makes us different from other brands."
What's next for Subaru's electrification plan?
Subaru Corporation's new all-electric vehicle division will speed up the automaker's electrification plans. Subaru announced that by 2030, at least 40 percent of its global sales would be battery or Hybrid-electric models.
Recently, Subaru Corporation CEO Tomomi Nakamura said its 40 percent electrified vehicles target by mid-2025 to 2030 was made two years ago. They will now rethink their electrification goals.
In a report from Automotive News, Nakamura said, "We know that we have to shift or accelerate this plan. Based on how the market receives the new Solterra EV, we can plan what ratios (50-60 percent) we should target for EVs and hybrids."
Subaru will build a dedicated EV plant this decade
Subaru will begin making its new electric vehicles in mixed production with internal combustion vehicles at its Yajima plant in Japan by the mid-2020s. Automotive News says from about 2027, Subaru will build a dedicated EV factory on the site of its Oizumi plant, which now makes engines and transmissions.
Is Subaru moving to all EVs like other automakers?
The all-new 2023 Subaru Solterra EV is the Japanese automaker's first new all-electric model, but more are coming. Subaru says its new research and development center will help them better compete in the all-electric compact SUV segment.
What will it mean for Subaru SUV shoppers in the next two to seven years?
Subaru's goal of 40 percent global sales by 2030 to be battery-electric vehicles or Hybrid-electric models will mean the automaker will bring some new Forester, Outback, Ascent SUV hybrid, and plug-in hybrid models to the U.S. market by mid-2025-2030.
By the first half of the 2030s, all Subaru vehicles, including the Impreza, Legacy, WRX, WRX STI, and BRZ, will have some electrification technology, probably hybrid, and hybrid plug-in hybrids.
Subaru's new electrified manufacturing and engineering division continues its EV plan. Subaru Corporation will still move cautiously in developing new all-electric vehicles, including electrified Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek models.
While Subaru is taking a slow approach, the 2023 Subaru Solterra EV SUV is the first step in developing an all-electric lineup. Subaru announced organizational changes as of January 1, 2023, that will further promote electrification. Stay tuned.
Will you buy a Solterra EV in the next two years or wait for new electric Subaru models in five years? Let us know in the comment section below.
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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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