Subaru Set to Launch Electric Vehicle

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago reports that the brand best known for symmetrical all-wheel drive and seemingly endless aesthetic affronts is set to launch the R1e electric vehicle (EV). Subie developed the EV version of its brand faithfully ugly R1 in conjunction with the Tokyo Electric Power Company. "Its battery pack affords the car a small-ish range of 50 miles, but the car can be recharged to 80-percent capacity in just eight minutes. A full charge takes about six hours." Never mind the range; EV supporters reckon most in-city journeys are less than 40 miles. Feel the longevity! "Despite the low range, Subaru says that the car has a lifespan of 120,000 miles or ten years." So not only can you go nowhere slowly, but you can do so for a long, long time. In terms of production numbers, Automobile goes for passively constructed English understatement. "Subaru isn't being overly optimistic about the EV's take-rate either, so for its first year only 100 units will be produced." But here's the real news: "To help promote electric vehicles, the Japanese government has agreed to slash the car tax and sales tax by a whopping 90-percent, and will allow the car to park in public areas and travel on toll routes at a reduced rate." What was that commentator Stu was saying about the Japanese government encouraging long term investment?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Areitu Areitu on Jan 07, 2008

    I could drive between work and home twice on one charge, if it has a 50 mile Japan where it's unlikely you'll be driving any sort of long distance, this could be a very practical solution, especially if it can charge up to 80% in just a few minutes. Considering the car taxes there, I don't see why this would be a feasible urban solution.

  • Storminvormin Storminvormin on Jan 07, 2008
    in Japan where it’s unlikely you’ll be driving any sort of long distance Actually I've heard of some very long commutes in Japan because so many things are centralized to Tokyo.
  • Durishin Durishin on Jan 08, 2008

    RF, I think you're being unnecessarily harsh re. the styling. I think that Zapatinas may have penned this one first. It is a tight little package with some great folds and interesting creases. Unfortunately, as the design concept was stretched in size per the B9s mission of delivering more humans it got bigger and less attractive. Such, I am afraid, is life. RD

  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Jan 08, 2008

    Actually I could use this little thing. I barely put 50 miles a week on my motorcycle commuting to work and running minor errands around town. As a second vehical in a small town or for a college student (again in a small town) this could be very practical only having to charge it maybe twice a week. Of course cost would probably put it out of college students price range and the looks would have to be improved, looks like a toy mouse for cats to play with. Aside from the space I think I would prefer my bike though, much more fun and 60 mpg.