Subaru Planning to Launch Electric SUV by 2021
Report out of Japan says Subaru is looking to launch an all-electric SUV by 2012. Why the long wait?
If reports coming out of Japan are accurate, Subaru is looking to roll out a midsize, all-electric crossover by 2021, which will help the Japanese firm keep pace with changing emissions laws in its key markets.
Subaru plans to launch the vehicle in the next five years and it is likely to be based on either the Forester or next-gen Outback (classed as a ‘large’ SUV in Australia), according to the report by Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun, which cited sources close to Subaru.
The new SUV will utilise Subaru’s Global Platform, which was announced in March, and all-wheel-drive is reported to feature heavily in the new vehicle’s design. At present, though, there’s no talk about where the batteries or motors will come from, so that’s open to speculation.
Even the newspaper’s source wasn’t prepared to give too much away at present, saying: “We have yet to decide on any specifics at the moment.”
When pressed on the issue, Subaru of America’s national manager of product communications, Dominick Infante, said: “It’s a bit early for us to discuss electric vehicles and PHEVs.”
The decision to go electric makes sense for Subaru. As the American market ramps up its adoption of low-emission and emission-free technology, Subaru needs to do something to prevent itself from being left out in the cold. But don’t think that being late to the party is necessarily a bad thing.
Look at Subaru’s approach to hybrids. It wasn’t first to market by any stretch of the imagination, but the company justified its lateness by saying that it wanted to get everything right before they launched. Sounds pretty sensible, right?
However, if it takes until 2021 for Subaru to release an EV, how much of the market share does it stand to lose? For comparison, Tesla is hoping to release its first mass-market electric car, the Model 3, by 2018.