Subaru claims it will shift to an all-electric line-up of cars by the middle of next decade – but initial reports out of Japan are unclear whether or not this includes petrol-electric hybrids or a complete switch to purely electric cars.
A report by news agency Reuters quoted the president of Subaru, Tomomi Nakamura, as saying: “Subaru’s strong commitment and dedication toward car-manufacturing that we have cultivated throughout our history remain unchanged.”
The news agency said Subaru expected at least 40 per cent of its line-up sold worldwide to be purely electric or hybrid vehicles before 2030.
A statement on Subaru’s international website said: “By the first half of the 2030s (Subaru will) apply electrification technologies to all Subaru vehicles sold worldwide”.
This wording indicates both hybrid and electric cars are included but, as this article was published, representatives for Subaru in Australia were yet to clarify.
Subaru’s statement, which had been translated into English, continued: “With automotive and aerospace businesses as the pillars of Subaru’s operations, our fields of business are the earth, the sky, and nature. Preservation of the ecosystem of our planet is of the utmost importance to ensure the future sustainability of both society and our organisation.”
Subaru also weighed into the climate change debate, adding: “Climate change will have particularly significant impacts on societies and economies, and we regard addressing this problem as a pressing issue”.
To that end, the company said it planned to slash its “well to wheel” emissions (from sourcing raw materials to manufacturing a complete car) before the year 2050 by 90 per cent compared to 2010 levels.
Although Subaru’s hybrid system will not be quite as advanced as Toyota’s (the Subaru hybrid can’t move itself from rest, for example, rather it gives an electric boost once on the move), it is the first step in what is likely to be an ongoing partnership.
This follows the shared development of the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ sports coupes; after the global success of the first generation both brands have agreed to develop second-generation models, though they will likely be based on a Toyota platform rather than a Subaru platform.
Car companies worldwide are forming partnerships with rival brands to ease the burden of developing expensive technology for electric and autonomous cars.