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Subaru, a favorite of hikers, mountain climbers, kayakers, cyclists, festival goers, and people wearing shorts in the winter, has long been behind on the green train. The brand’s cars are famous for the off-road rally, AWD, and somewhat sub-par fuel economy. This is strange, no? Well, it seems like Subaru thinks it’s a bit strange, and the firm is finally doing something to fix it, a big thing. Subaru announces a plan to lean into EVs in a big way. 

The 2023 Subaru Outback driving off-road with a load of gear on the roof.
2023 Subaru Outback | Subaru

Does Subaru make EVs? 

So far, Subaru’s only electric vehicle is the low-range Subaru Solterra. Its dual-electric motors make only 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. And it delivers up to 228 miles of EPA range, but only 222 for the Limited and Touring trims. This isn’t very impressive matched against other EVs today, like the Rivian R1S (390 miles), Tesla Model X (348 miles), and the Mustang Mach-E (312 miles), to name a few. 

It’s no better in the hybrid camp for Subaru, either. None of the brand’s bigger SUVs come with a hybrid powerplant except the smallest SUV, the Crosstrek. 

Is Subaru planning to make EVs? 

Months back, Tomoaki Emori, Subaru’s chief general manager of global planning, mentioned that Subaru needs “strong hybrids and electric vehicles” and that the brand will need to offer “several models in (their) EV lineup.” The plan was set to be realized by 2025 for the American market. 

Why did Subaru fall so far behind? 

First, as noted by Gear Patrol, a lot of Subaru’s technological development is connected with Toyota due to Toyota’s 20% holding of Subaru stocks. Once you understand that, the rest becomes a bit clearer. 

Toyota has been slow to adopt the EV thing. Toyota is slow to change anything, much less a paradigm shift like EVs. However, Toyota is starting to shift its position now. For the same reason, Subaru was behind on EVs will now be the same reason soob will lean into them; Toyota said so. 

Is Subaru going to make EVs? 

Subaru has announced plans for the American market to have four electric crossover SUVs by 2026. The plan is to prepare to roll these EVs in big numbers. Gear Patrol reports that dedicated EV lines at its Oizumi and Yajima plants in Japan should be able to produce a combined 400,000 EVs per year by 2028.

One note that some people have voiced is that because the Subaru EVs will be made in Japan, they won’t be eligible for the EV tax credit. However, outgoing CEO Tomomi Nakamura isn’t sweating it. 

“I wonder if American consumers choose their cars solely based on tax breaks,” Nakamura said. “Our U.S. customers are quality customers. We have a higher ratio of customers buying Subarus with cash and low loan and lease rates. We also keep our incentives at low levels.”

The next-gen Subaru Forester will be something to keep an eye out for

The 2024 Subaru Crosstrek faces away from the viewer overlooking the ocean at sunset with a tree in the foreground.
2024 Subaru Crosstrek | Subaru

Subaru is launching some new models in 2023, like the Crosstrek and Impreza. However, the bell of the ball will most likely be the next-gen Subaru Forester. The Forester is a massively popular model that could grow in popularity with more fuel-efficient features.