As more stringent emission regulations are coming into play, automakers are in a rush to develop electric vehicles. The latest to join the fray is Subaru and they are planning to add electric-powered versions of their popular models. This will be the automaker's first attempt in building an all-electric vehicle.
According to Automotive News, Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president and CEO of Subaru Corporation, said that they plan to make further investments in research and development for electric powertrains. The CEO added that they would rather install these powertrains in existing models, rather than develop an all-new car. Yoshinaga says this move will allow the brand to capitalize on their strongest points while, at the same time, move towards electrification.
By next year, Subaru aims to launch their first all-electric vehicle by 2021. According to the report, the automaker has allocated $1.2 billion in research and development. Instead of having a joint venture with another car manufacturer, Yoshinaga believes that it is not necessary since their electric powertrains will be installed in current vehicles. Instead, they are under the process of choosing a supplier for batteries and motors with Panasonic Corp. and Samsung Electronics Corp. being possible partners.
As to what car will be getting Subaru's first all-electric powertrain, Yoshinaga has not mention it just yet. Given that Subaru has launched their new Global Platform, it is likely that we could see it in the all-new Impreza or in the second-generation XV. In the meantime, the Japanese automaker aims to launch their first plug-in hybrid model by next year.
One of the highlights modular Global Platform is the compatibility of alternative power applications. Subaru says the new structure allows one design concept to be adapted not only to internal combustion engines but also to hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids, electric cars, and other types of alternative power units. They add that moving to this modular architecture will also cut down in development time and costs in the long run.
Source: Automotive News