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Subaru to commence electric vehicle production

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August 19, 2005

Subaru to commence electric vehicle production

Subaru to commence electric vehicle production

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August 20, 2005 Subaru makes kickbutt small cars – the WRX pocket-rocket started a cult and still more than holds its own in the World Rally Championship (WRC). But the news this week that the niche auto manufacturer plans to produce the R1e electric car is some of the most mouth-watering news we can imagine for EV fans. The R1 is already on sale in Japan with a traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) but since the R1e electric concept car was first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show 18 months ago, the fans have been begging for the car to go into production. Interestingly, the news from Japan yesterday that Subaru would commence electric and hybrid vehicle manufacture in 2009 saw share in Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI - Subaru’s owner) rise more than 4%.

August 20, 2005 Subaru makes kickbutt small cars – the WRX pocket-rocket started a cult and still more than holds its own in the World Rally Championship (WRC). But the news this week that the niche auto manufacturer plans to produce the R1e electric car is some of the most mouth-watering news we can imagine for EV fans. The R1 is already on sale in Japan with a traditional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) but since the R1e electric concept car was first shown at the Tokyo Motor Show 18 months ago, the fans have been begging for the car to go into production. Interestingly, the news from Japan yesterday that Subaru would commence electric and hybrid vehicle manufacture in 2009 saw share in Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI - Subaru’s owner) rise more than 4%.

The R1e electric vehicle will be powered by an advanced, high energy density, manganese lithium-ion battery that FHI developed in conjunction with NEC and in Japan the battery can be charged by taking power from single-phase 22V AC outlets traditionally used for home air conditioners in Japan. Utilising advanced power control technology, the R1e is designed to travel more than 200 kilometers (125 miles) on a charge, and with its 2+2 layout in such a small-car form factor, the R1e looks to be immensely practical and an ideal alternative to ICE vehicles which are expected to be feeding a heroin-like (keep you poor and make you sick) addiction for fossil fuels which could be costing US$10 a gallon by 2009.

Shorter than typical Japanese minicars, the R1E offers easy parking and flexibility, courtesy of its 2 + 2 cabin.

The Subaru R1E features a 2 + 2 layout. While its high-performance battery and advanced power control technology place environmental considerations at the forefront, the R1e also has strong sporting pretensions, with the ICE R1 on sale in Japan apparently highly regarded for its go-kart-like handlking and spirited performance from its diminutive 660cc motor.

The R1e will be powered by a light, compact, brushless motor with high output and excellent reliability. We can’t wait!

Interestingly, whereas now we see a car with an “e” descriptor designation the car is electric, we expect the ICE acronym will grow in popularity over the coming years as it can no longer be assumed that a car has an internal combustion engine.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
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