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Its First All-Electric Car, Developed With Toyota, Unveiled By Japan's Subaru

Its First All-Electric Car, Developed With Toyota, Unveiled By Japan's Subaru
Following a period of two years of a development project with its partner company and its largest shareholder Toyota Motor Corp, its first all-electric vehicle (EV), the Solterra, was unveiled by Japan's Subaru Corp on Thursday.
This launch of its electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) happens at a time when there is a growing demand for cleaner vehicles and as countries around the world impose stricter environmental regulations to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions.  
The development of its version of a battery electric vehicle (BEV), the bZ4X, was announced by Toyota last month.
Smaller auto companies are faced with the burden of finances and technology for the tectonic shift towards electric powered vehicles from the conventional internal combustion engines, and companies like Subaru, are among the auto makers that are most crippled by this challenge. This is because this shift not only requires funds but also appropriate expertise for developing electric vehicles. On the other hand, for larger established auto companies such as Toyota, this also presents an opportunity to bring in their smaller competitors closer.
Despite being a pioneer in the field of hybrid electric cars, Japan’s Toyota was a much late entrant into the electric vehicle market. The latest electrification plans of the company now involve bringing to market a stable of 15 BEV models by 2025. A massive $13.5 billion is also planned to be invested by the company for expansion of its auto battery production capacity over the next decade.
The vehicle sales number of Subaru is less than a tenth when compared to the total sales of Toyota – which is also the largest auto company of the world in terms of volume of production.
Subaru said in a press release that the Solterra has a front-wheel-drive system and comes with a range of 530 km (329 miles) on a single charge while the single charge range for the all-wheel-drive version of the car is 460 km.
A 20 per cent stake in Subaru is owned by Toyota and a 5 per cent stake in Mazda Motor Corp, which has announced its plans to bring to market 13 electric vehicles by 2025 which will include hybrids and BEVs that will be based on the technology of Toyota.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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