In the current progress of electric vehicle (EV) technology, it’s no secret that Subaru doesn’t have a concrete program that’s enough to challenge other brands. However, that could soon change as the Japanese carmaker is planning to invest a huge sum of money to develop its EV technology.
According to a report by Bloomberg, Subaru will spend ¥134-billion (around P60-billion) on research and development (R&D) for a 12-month period to create their electrified line-up. But rather than developing all-new EVs, the brand is looking into adding battery-powered variants of its current line-up. This is a totally different approach in developing EVs compared to the other brands such as Volkswagen and JAC, Mazda and Toyota, and Fiat and Chrysler.
Subaru Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said that this will allow them to capitalize on the brand’s reputation on safety without the need of a partnership with other automakers. It also gives the customers the choice of having an electric version of their favorite Subie.
However, the brand will still need some help in the production of its batteries and motors. With this, Subaru may enter a partnership with the likes of Panasonic Corp. or Samsung Electronics, among others.
Although 2 names were specifically mentioned in the report, we can’t help but wonder if Subaru would consider another collaboration with Toyota, which will be producing longer lasting batteries soon.
Subaru hopes to launch a new plug-in hybrid by 2018 and its 1st EV by 2021. The question is, will these electrified models reach the Philippines someday? It's highly unlikely but who knows – maybe.
As of this writing, Subaru only has a few hybrid vehicles under its name such as the Japan-exclusive Impreza Sport Hybrid and the U.S.-sold Crosstrek Hybrid (a.k.a. XV locally).