Skip to main content

Subaru Says Too Much Risk Will Keep Them Attached To Toyota’s EV Hip

Subaru Corporation says there's too much risk in building new electric models on their own. They will rely on Toyota more now to help them. Here is what new Subaru models customers will see by 2026.

Subaru is changing its EV strategy again. Because of the current EV climate, the Japanese automaker announced that it would minimize the risk of building more EVs and stay attached at the hip to Toyota. 

There's Too Much Risk To Go It Alone

In its year-end earnings meeting this week, Subaru Corporation President and CEO Atsushi Osaki said, "At the moment, it is quite difficult to predict how things will go from here with EVs," according to an Automotive News report.

Osaki said, "There is a huge risk for us to go alone in this field. We have talked with Toyota and agreed that it is better to reduce risks through joint development."

Subaru Changes It's EV Plans Again

I reported that Subaru previously said it would begin building its own EVs and not depend on Toyota, which owns 20% of Subaru Corporation. Subaru is building a new EV design center north of Tokyo, Japan, where global research and development to electrify will be a key focus. 

The new seven-story "Innovation Hub" is a state-of-the-art facility that will cater to Subaru employees and give them an environment that will inspire creativity. Read more of my report here.

Will Subaru Build EVs At Its U.S. Plant?

"I have not said that we would do Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) production at our plant in the U.S.," Osaki said. "As the market changes considerably, we will proceed while studying the situation carefully."

I was surprised when Osaki said Subaru will begin producing the next-generation Forester and new Forester Hybrid at its Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant. Read my U.S.-made Forester Hybrid report here.

The first hybrid SUV will be the Forester Hybrid, which will launch in the U.S. sometime next year. Subaru will also launch a new Crosstrek Hybrid, the report said. I would say that could come in 2026, and the all-new Crosstrek Hybrid will also be manufactured in Lafayette, Indiana.

What Is The Subaru EV Plan Now?

The report from AN says Subaru will launch three all-electric SUV/crossovers planned through 2026 but will rely on Toyota to manufacture them. Subaru will minimize its risk in an electric vehicle market that is cooling off but still requires massive investment in new technology.

"Through this approach of joint development, joint production, and joint supply, we will ensure flexibility in the areas of development and production while mitigating risks with Toyota when it is difficult to predict future trends clearly," Osaki said. 

Three New EVs by 2026

AN says Subaru plans to roll out three new all-electric SUVs by the end of 2026, along with the existing Solterra that is jointly produced with Toyota's bZ4X. Four more EVs will be added to the lineup by the end of 2028. Osaki said the three new EVs will be jointly developed and produced with Toyota. 

The three new Subaru EVs will be jointly developed and sold under each company's own brand, like the Solterra and bZ4X. 

  • One will be manufactured at Subaru's Yajima plant in Japan
  • A second will be a new 3-Row electric SUV produced by Toyota at its plant in Kentucky
  • Toyota will manufacture a third new unidentified EV in the U.S.

The report says Osaki declined to provide details about the timing or site of production of its Toyota-built models. Beyond 2028, Subaru is waiting to see what happens with market demand for BEVs. 

Osaki said, "The outlook for BEVs remains unclear in 2028 and beyond, but if there were a certain volume of BEVs on the market, we would like to capture that trend and market a Subaru original BEV product. "At the same time, it is important to continue to develop and sell internal combustion vehicles and to have hybrid products ready as well."

What Can Customers Expect Now?

Subaru will continue to focus on its U.S. customers, the company's biggest and most important market. Before the new EVs arrive, Subaru will bring new Forester, Crosstrek, and likely Outback Hybrid trim levels. Subaru has been seeing the hot hybrid trend in the U.S. market, which they will take advantage of first. 

"While we have steered toward EVs, we find it important to sell internal combustion products simultaneously. So we already have plans to expand our hybrid product lineup," Osaki said.


I don't like that Subaru is so dependent on Toyota that it has to produce three more collaborative EVs. We are seeing what happened with the Solterra/bZ4X partnership. Solterra sales are sluggish, and there are some significant issues. I get that Subaru needs Toyota technology, but three more Toyota clones are not that exciting. Subaru can use Toyota tech, but I want to see them produce their own unique models. 

What About You?

Join the discussion and click on the red Add new comment below

Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this Subaru EV story. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News and Subaru reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

I’ve got you covered! - I cover all Subaru all the time. 

Please share the article with friends, and post X to your followers! 

Photo credit: Subaru


Joe (not verified)    May 14, 2024 - 10:03AM

I wonder what this means for the WRX? We have heard that the reason for no current (ICE) STi is the move to all electric (i.e. STe). But, does that imply that the next gen WRX will be a joint Toyota vehicle? Or, does it imply that we can expect an ICE WRX STi after all?