Subaru’s owner, Fuji Heavy Industries, has already launched a batch of electric vehicles, but none made their way to the USA. Quite a few automotive industry experts thought such a move was odd, considering the United States is one of the hottest markets for EVS. Now it seems that the company is rethinking its strategy as it ramps up to deploy a second wave of electric models, which it might be bringing to the States. Perhaps Subaru looked rather enviously at Nissan’s recent success selling 50,000 Leafs to Americans.
Fuji Heavy Industries President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga is using the excuse that rising environmental standards in the United States will make it necessary for Subaru to include an all-electric vehicle in its lineup. Apparently a final decision on whether or not a Subie EV will be coming to America will be made by the end of 2014, so keep your fingers crossed all you electrification fans.
Before you get your hopes up too high and drop your iPhone, you need to understand what the first EV wave from Subaru entailed. The automaker produced a Stella EV, which is an electric minivehicle. The model was only available to lease and production was limited to just 200 units. The EV program was stopped in Japan because Subaru and Fuji Heavy could not find a way to make it profitable. Perhaps they should have contacted Elon Musk for advice.
Some experts in the automotive industry really doubt that Subaru will take the plunge straight into a pure-electric model. Instead, they anticipate the company will create a production version of the Subaru Viziz concept, which is a plug-in hybrid model.
It’s pretty safe to assume that the Japanese automaker will not be bringing the Stella or any other minivehicle to the United States. Too many consumers here would die of laughter after seeing the strange little cars on the road, even though they are quite popular in Japan and bring the promise of popularity with the hipster crowd.