Subaru Testing EV Runabout

Donal Fagan
by Donal Fagan

Green Car Congress reports that Subaru will announce testing of its R1e electric vehicle (EV) tomorrow, 20 March 2008, and will subsequently display a prototype at the New York International Auto Show. They will also provide two R1e's to the New York Power Authority for evaluation. Subaru claims that the 40kW drive motor will give the two-seater R1e a top speed of 65 mph and range up to 50 miles. NEC, NEC TOKIN and Nissan have formed a joint-venture, Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), to provide automotive lithium-ion batteries. AESC's 346V battery pack uses lithium manganese oxide spinel (LiMn2O4) as the cathode's active material. Besides recharging to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes, the battery should be resistant to overcharging and thermal instability. At least that's what they say.

Donal Fagan
Donal Fagan

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  • Bancho Bancho on Mar 19, 2008

    It'd be kinda nice if the roof had solar cells to help top up the battery a bit during the day while you're in work. My daily commute is about 50 miles round trip as well so this thing is almost a real contender. The looks are subjective but most cars this small look like something out of a cartoon and I'm ok with that (in fact I'm actually pretty fond of it and prefer it to an aggressive looking vehicle).

  • Rev0lver Rev0lver on Mar 19, 2008

    Price it right and make the range 50 miles in the winter (with wipers, lights and heat going) and this could be an actual usable EV

  • Donal Fagan Donal Fagan on Mar 19, 2008

    I'll bet that 65 mph top speed cuts the range significantly. Twike, which only zips up to 45mph, has a chart in the users manual with speed plotted against range. Going 30mph on level ground should yield a range of 70 miles, but going 45mph will only yield 60 miles. And it is a curved slope. EV makers should really publish city range, assuming ~30 mph, suburban range, assuming ~45 mph and highway range, assuming ~60 mph.

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Mar 19, 2008

    Now we're talking...