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Subaru R1 as electric car

The author -- who is the Associate Director of the Kentucky Council of Churches -- wants to see Subaru begin building affordable, highway-capable battery-electric versions of its new R1e coupe.

I Want My R1e

A Plan to Get Subaru to Build Highway-Capable EVs for the Rest of Us

By Rev. W. Christopher Benham Skidmore

Hear me out. I have a plan. Well, it's more like a dream, but with your help we can make and implement a powerful plan for pressuring an OEM to bring a nice EV to market.

PHASE ONE: Putting Our Heads Together
Let's launch a concerted, organized, grass-roots, highly-focused campaign to bring another full-sized highway-capable EV to market in the United States of America.

Target one manufacturer.

Make them know it will be profitable for them because we will each: PLEDGE TO BUY THE CAR WHEN IT IS PRODUCED.

Believing that progress can be made in the corporate sector when a large number of consumers make their voices heard in a loud way, I want to start a campaign to get progressive-minded consumers (and potential EV consumers) uberfocused-- and put pressure on one car maker: Subaru.

Here's why I want us to target Subaru:

They have proven themselves in a niche market here in the U.S. and the EV market is still perceived as only niche by auto makers. Subaru only sells five cars in the U.S. and have positioned themselves well as doing something no one else does and being the exclusive go-to company when consumers know what they want, e.g. all-wheel drive standard on every vehicle.

They already have a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States poised for service and distribution. They have a dealership and service department in every state in the United States of America. I would really love to have an EV with a nice warranty and capacity for local service.

In 2003, they only sold 186,819 units. If we can convince anyone to take control of an entire, wide-open niche in the U.S., who better to target than a small niche-market company. We would not need to guarantee them many sales to make it worth their while. Even with a challenging sales environment and an increasingly competitive marketplace, they have continued to sustain strong sales growth in the U.S.

They have taken a step forward with a "hybrid" because what they have designed for the B9SC is adaptable to the existing drive trains in their other vehicles and basically turns a gas vehicle into a completely electric vehicle until it is operated over 50mph or needs unusually quick acceleration.

They make some quality products. Consumer Reports recommends 3/4 of everything Subaru has ever built-- and that's not an easy achievement.

They need to clean up their image on the environmental front after their decision to pollute more and consume more fuel by tweaking their wagons to obtain new light-truck classifications and add turbochargers.

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