Subaru confirms first-ever EV

All-electric SUV for Subaru as it buddies up with Toyota to fast-track EV development.

Subaru Forester 49 1 2 Jpg
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Subaru has formally confirmed that it – like Toyota – will roll out a battery-electric EV in Europe before 2025.

The mid-sized SUV will be built atop the same electric-only platform that will ride under the recently previewed Toyota BZ electric SUV.

Like the program that produces the 86 and the BRZ, the two cars are likely to share almost everything from powertrain specs to interior to body styling.

Subaru trademarked the Evoltis name in the US in 2018, though there’s no confirmation from Subaru about whether or not that badge will grace the Subaru’s rump.

Subaru says the new BEV SUV will be similar in size to the brand’s Forester SUV, while Toyota has likened its BZ to the RAV4 in terms of dimensions.

Toyota electric vehicle line-up 2020
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Toyota's projected EV line-up

The e-TNGA platform is modular and can be tweaked to underpin both small and large cars. In base form, it will be front-wheel-drive, but it’s possible to add a rear motor to create an all-wheel-drive vehicle.

Batteries are laid out on the floor of the platform, and the number of cell packs can be increased from a minimum of two to a maximum of five.

Slated for a European launch first, the Evoltis will likely roll out into other markets like the US and Japan soon after.

The news underlines Subaru’s efforts to reduce its environmental footprint in Europe and satisfy a growing demand for alternative powertrains,” read a statement.

“It also signals the brand’s second electrification step in Europe after it recently launched mild-hybrid variants of three core models in the region, where the Impreza e-BOXER, Subaru XV e-BOXER and Forester e-BOXER models today represents 60 percent of the sales volume.”

Those volume figures so far aren’t reflected in local sales of Subaru’s hybrid products, the XV and Forester, which have launched to a somewhat lukewarm reception here in Australia.

The Forester is inching up towards 7.5 percent of sales after a COVID-plagued year of delayed production, while the XV looks set to gain a second hybrid variant to mirror its boxier brother in 2021.

No word yet on when we’ll see a Subaru EV in Australia, though.

"We’re always excited to see new developments from Subaru in Japan. At this stage, we understand there are no plans for this vehicle to be launched outside European markets," Subaru's communication head David Rowley told WhichCar.

"However, we are always talking to the factory about future options, though there is no definite timeline in this instance."

 

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