Good old Subaru. We don’t hear much from the company, and rightfully so. It doesn’t have much clean news to report beyond a 2004 net-zero landfill factory in North Carolina and the introduction of its hybrid CrossTech in 2013 — if you count that. But even the latest to the electric party are now showing up.
Subaru Slowly Reaches EV Status
It’s strange to think that the first car company that technically delivered an electric vehicle (EV) in the 2000s was Subaru, with its r1e back in 2008. But that was only in Japan and the vehicle didn’t get far. Also ahead of the curve, Subaru pioneered a zero-waste-to-landfill plant in Lafayette, Indiana, in 2004, making it the first auto manufacturing facility in the United States to reach zero-landfill status.
More recently, we haven’t had much to appreciate or enjoy from the automaker that is, ironically, strongly associated with the wilderness and environmentalist lifestyles. Its biggest news in 2017? That it might offer a plug-in hybrid in 2018 (this year) and a fully electric car in 2021. (Yawn.)
What was ventured was that Subaru could bring to the market the evolution of its Crosstrek platform as a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). Subaru seems to be holding its promise, sort of, as it just announced the release of the first Subaru Crosstrek PHEV.
Thanks to the USA division’s 9th consecutive year of record sales, the company has a bit of room to run. Subaru’s 2019 Crosstrek PHEV is a logical progression from its hybrid option — albeit, a very slow-paced one. The Crosstrek PHEV is essentially a normal Crosstrek that sports increased fuel efficiency and can be driven either in PHEV mode, where the car takes care of everything, or in pure EV mode.
Was The Subaru 2019 Crosstrek Plug-In Hybrid Worth The Wait?
Technically speaking, the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid uses the company’s four-cylinder direct-injection Boxer engine, Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, an all-new transmission, and Toyota’s Hybrid System (THS). Subaru is growing and maturing its hybrid platform by using its 20% stake partner Toyota’s hybrid platform. It will be interesting to see how the company develops this going forward. It is not the only one with that strategy, as Nissan did the same a decade a go and Toyota and Mazda are now partnering.
Essentially, this is Subaru’s cautious move into the world of EVs via the tried-and-true approach of hybrid first, followed by a PHEV, and eventually leading to an EV. It’s strange to think that the company that introduced a mass-produced EV in 2008 is announcing its first a PHEV a decade later — with nothing with a plug in between. Still, another rugged PHEV is something we look forward to testing driving and comparing against the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.