You have heard Subaru Corporation has officially joined the Toyota group as the large automaker has increased its stake in Subaru to 20 percent. This will help smaller Subaru to be competitive in the global electric vehicle revolution. Subaru does not have the resources for research and development of all-electric technology needed to build new EV models and they need Toyota to pull it off. But is their timeframe for bringing these new electrified models too slow?
Toyota’s larger stake will create new hybrids and plug-in hybrid opportunities for Subaru with its existing 2020 Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, and Ascent SUVs, and new models will be coming. Subaru announced recently, by 2030, 40 percent of all Subaru global sales will come from electric vehicles (EVs) or hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).
Subaru reveals future Subaru model at a January press conference
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By the first half of the 2030s, all Subaru vehicles sold worldwide will have some form of hybrid power or all-electric technology. This will be developed using Toyota’s hybrid technology. But these Outback, Forester, Crosstrek, and Ascent models won’t be coming anytime soon as they are still 12-15 years from being available for customers.
When will Subaru launch its first all-electric model?
Subaru will also collaborate with Toyota to develop its first all-electric all-wheel-drive vehicle, but it won’t go on sale until the first half of the 2020s and is 4-5 years from being launched. Automotive News talked with Kazuhiro Abe, Subaru's vice president for product planning at the Tokyo Motor Show, and he says Subaru and Toyota will use the same platform, but the new EV will have its own unique character.
New Subaru EV rendering from press conference materials
Abe says the new all-electric model will be about the same size as a Subaru Forester and it will be sold in the U.S., and it is being developed as a global vehicle. He also revealed it could be offered in front-wheel-drive configuration with one motor and an all-wheel-drive variant with two motors. He says the all-new vehicle will be distinctively a Subaru.
The report says Subaru and Toyota are collaborating on the new EV’s architecture, powertrain, and electric motor. The new platform will offer the flexibility to underpin multiple vehicle types, including C-segment and D-segment sedans and crossovers.
Subaru and Toyota are 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 are thinking it will expand a lot. Maybe not in the early '30s, but maybe from the late '30s or ‘40s."
The expanded Toyota partnership will bring an all-electric Subaru model that will not arrive for another 4-5 years. Big changes are coming to existing nameplates like the 2020 Outback wagon, Forester compact SUV, Crosstrek subcompact and Ascent family hauler. They will be electrified with hybrid or plug-in hybrid technology but they are still 12-15 years from being available for customers. Subaru could be late to the party as other automakers are ramping up their lineups with new electrified models. Stay tuned.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!
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Photo credit: Subaru