The Japanese automaker knows it can't rely on the Solterra alone.
The Subaru Solterra is the sole electric vehicle the Japanese company has on sale in America, but that is set to change in the next few years with several new EVs to be introduced here. The news came to light at Subaru's quarterly earnings announcement this week, reports Automotive News, and confirms that Subaru will shift its focus to get the new EVs ready by 2025. New hybrids will also form part of this plan, as Subaru currently only sells the Crosstrek Hybrid.
This renewed sense of urgency towards ramping up EV production is necessary, since consumers are abandoning popular Japanese brands for other makes with more appealing EV lineups. Like Subaru's glacial electrification strategy up until now, Toyota, Honda, and Mazda have also been slow to bring new EVs to the market.
Unsurprisingly, Subaru's partnership with Toyota will continue to play a key role in the development of the new EVs, since the Solterra already shares a platform with the Toyota bZ4X.
"Our main electrification strategy centers on strong hybrids and electric vehicles and introducing such models in the US by 2025," said Tomoaki Emori, senior vice president of the corporate planning division. "When we look at the US market situation, we will need to offer several models in our EV lineup. We have shifted our weight toward that in our development."
Subaru's assessment of electrified cars in the USA is logical, with new EV and battery production plants popping up everywhere. California is on a mission to triple EV sales in four years, while hybrids from the likes of Hyundai and Honda continue to thrive. Up until now, Subaru has simply not kept pace with these trends.
What we don't know is what segments Subaru intends to launch new EVs in, but we'll have a go at some calculated guesses. The Solterra already fills the EV gap in the compact crossover segment, so we wouldn't be surprised to see a mid-size electric crossover that is roughly the size of the Ascent.
Since the average transaction price for EVs remains far higher than that of ICE cars, a larger electric vehicle would make sense for Subaru. This could potentially be a three-row vehicle that shares components with the upcoming Toyota bZ5X. A sportier, coupe-style electric crossover in the vein of the Toyota bZ3X is another possibility.
Less likely, but something we'd love to see, is a rugged electric wagon to complement the Outback; Subaru is one of the last automakers still making wagons, after all.
Emori said that the US accounts for three-quarters of all Subaru's sales, so investing in EVs relevant to this market is critical. Just as important is Subaru getting its own EV factory up and running, and it will have to get EV production into the US at some point if it wants to qualify for tax credits under the new Inflation Reduction Act.
It's going to be a busy few years for Subaru, but at least the company is finally getting its EV plans moving at a quicker rate.
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