Despite offering nothing of the sort to date, Subaru is now planning to begin offering a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) by as soon as 2018, and an all-electric car by as soon as 2021, going by recent comments made by Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the CEO noted that Subaru doesn’t have an interest in dedicated platforms for electric vehicles, and intends instead to simply offer plug-in hybrid versions of existing models. So, in other words, Subaru’s not taking any big leaps in the near future, but has its eye on a future when battery prices are notably lower.
The company is, going by the Bloomberg report, now pumping “record” amounts of money into research and development — some of which relates to electric vehicles. The other research apparently relates mostly to self-driving features and “connected” vehicle tech. It’s a similar story to what we just reported about BMW the other day, another company that (despite leading with the BMW i3) is focusing its current plug-wielding efforts at plug-in hybrids converted from gasoline/diesel models.
“Subaru will invest $1.2 billion in research and development during the next 12 months, most of it aimed at getting a plug-in hybrid version of one of more of its cars into production by the end of 2018,” Steve Hanley writes at sister site Gas2. “Suppliers like GKN are already building complete EV powertrain components to speed the adoption of electric vehicle technology in the global marketplace and eliminate the need for each manufacture to design, test, and build its own hardware.”
Notably the CEO made no firm mention of who would be supplying the batteries for these as-of-now-hypothetical electric vehicles, but Panasonic and Samsung were noted as possibilities.
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