More than 1.6 million electric vehicles (EVs) are sold around the world, and that number is expected to jump to 41 million by 2040. By then, EV sales will make up 35% of new light-duty vehicle sales. Subaru, and a number of other auto manufacturers, are rolling out plans to increase their offerings of EVs in the coming years. Subaru has some especially ambitious goals for itself.
Electric vehicles and the environment
The push for EVs is driven by environmental concerns. The Paris Agreement requires that signatory countries reduce emissions and limit gas-powered engines. The UK, Germany, India, and China are especially working to implement changes.
China has set a goal for 20% of car sales in that country to be EVs by 2025. Norway already had EVs making up 45% of new passenger vehicle sales in September 2018, and Denmark has banned gas and diesel cars by 2030 and hybrid cars by 2035.
Subaru’s electric vehicle goal
At a recent briefing in Japan, Subaru announced that it plans to sell electric vehicle versions of all of its models by mid-2030. Subaru’s goal is that more than 40% of sales by 2030 will be battery-electric and hybrid cars.
Under the new plan, the company should be selling primarily electric vehicles by the early 2030s. While it’s been widely reported that Subaru aims to sell exclusively EVs by the mid-2030s, Car and Driver confirmed that electrification does not mean the internal-combustion engine will disappear from Subaru’s lineup entirely.
Subaru also announced that it plans to reduce CO2 emissions from its new vehicles sold around the world by at least 90% by 2050 when compared to its 2010 emissions levels. By 2031, it plans to reduce emissions from factories and offices by 30% compared to its 2017 levels.
Subaru’s current offerings
Subaru has a long way to go to meet these goals since it only has a few electric vehicles for sale. Today, the company only sells one plug-in hybrid in the United States, the Crosstrek Hybrid. It offers additional hybrid models in Europe. However, the Japanese company plans to change that in the next 20 years.
Subaru and Toyota partnership
In 2019, Toyota and Subaru announced a joint partnership, where they will develop new electric SUVs together. Toyota recently increased its share of Subaru Corp. from 17% to 20%. Right now, neither company sells an all-electric vehicle.
Subaru’s Chief Technology Officer, Tetsuo Onuki, told Reuters,
“Although we’re using Toyota technology, we want to make hybrids that are distinctly Subaru. It’s not only about reducing CO2 emissions. We need to further improve vehicle safety and the performance of our all-wheel drive.”
In the first phase, as reported by Reuters, Subaru will design a “strong hybrid” vehicle based on Toyota technology. The first vehicle is expected during this decade and should feature a version of Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive.
The company is also expected to release more hybrids before going all-electric. TorqueNews.com says that hybrid Subaru Outback and Forester hybrid models are expected in the U.S. possibly as soon as 2021 or 2022.
Subaru is currently developing its first all-electric vehicle. From early designs, it’s expected to be a crossover. Developed with Toyota, this electric crossover should be available by 2025.
Competitors’ future plans
Other manufacturers have more ambitious plans for EVs during this decade, while Subaru is allowing itself additional time. Toyota is increasing the number of hybrid vehicles it offers in the U.S. and plans to offer six new electric vehicle models between 2020 and 2025.
On its website, General Motors says it is also planning for an all-electric future. Cadillac will be the first of the GM brands to implement its new battery electric vehicle architecture, but the technology will later be used in other GM brands.
Ferrari expects 60% of its models to be hybrid by 2022. In March of 2018, Ford announced that it would sell 16 all-electric vehicles and 40 electrified vehicles by 2022. Volvo, which released the all-electric XC40 Recharge in 2019, announced that by 2025 half of its cars will be electric.
Hyundai has plans for 16 electric vehicles by 2025. Volkswagen has announced it will have 75 electric vehicles across its brands by 2029. And, Tesla already sells only electric vehicles.
While Subaru is behind some of the other auto manufacturers in developing EVs, the company now has a plan to emphasize this type of vehicle in its lineup in the future.