Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Subaru Stella EV To Make its Debut This Summer

More good news for those of us who desire alternative energy vehicles. Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI), who make Subarus, will commence delivery of the Stella plug in vehicle this summer. Unfortunately for those of us who live in North America, these cars will be for sale only in Japan.

The Stella EV will have a top speed of 62 mph (100 kph) and a range of 50 miles or 80 km. I presume that Subaru is going to try and keep the cost low for this vehicle as the battery pack only contains 9.2 kWh's of energy. The battery technology is Lithium ion with a nominal voltage of 346V. The 50 mile range is sure to give most commuters some anxiety and the 62 mph top speed may deter freeway use. However, for those individuals who need not travel on roads with posted speed limits greater than 55 mph, this car could be perfect.

I would personally prefer to see this car with a 100 mile range and 70 to 75 mph top speed. These numbers easily cover the overwhelming majority of US commuter's needs. Of course, you would need twice the battery capacity which probably doubles its cost. We need mass production of Lithium batteries to bring their cost down and make the technology more available to the masses.

The next two years are going to be great for alternative energy vehicles. I am personally very excited to see the next years unfold. We will soon have a great choice of electric vehicles at showrooms and also competition for our hard earned dollars.

Thanks FHI and Subaru for giving us one more choice!

From Green Car Congress:

uji Heavy Industries (FHI), maker of Subarus, will begin delivery of the plug-in STELLA (earlier post) this summer, according to FHI President & CEO Ikuo Mori in his New Year press conference speech.

More than 100 units are to be delivered mainly in metropolitan areas of Japan. FHI is calling 2009 the “First Year of Electric Vehicle”.

The Subaru Plug-in STELLA Concept combines the electric drive system employed in the R1e (earlier post) with the Subaru STELLA minicar platform. FHI plans to use the plug-in STELLA Concept in the development and test-marketing of the next generation of EVs in Japan in the near future.

The STELLA EV seats four, has a maximum speed of 100 kph (62 mph) and a range of 80km (50 miles) per charge. A 9.2 kWh, 346V Li-ion battery pack drives an electric motor with 40 kW output and that develops 150 Nm torque.

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