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Subaru to Begin Selling Electric Car in 2009

Its battery pack affords the car a range of 50 miles, but the car can be recharged to 80-percent capacity in just eight minutes and is expected to have a lifespan of about 120,000 miles or ten years.

Published: 04-Jan-2008

In many ways, mass volume electric cars are closer to reality than many people might think. Although the Chevrolet Volt is still years away (although more of a reverse hybrid than a true EV) and another EV candidate, the Pininfarina-Bollaré isn't expected until 2010, Tesla has been producing and selling a full electric vehicle for some time now, and other more mainstream automakers are working full steam ahead to produce pure electric cars before the end of the decade.

Japanese automakers have leapt aboard the electric car bandwagon, thanks in part to partnerships with electric power companies for assistance and research, an arrangement that benefits both sides. Automakers gain information about how their EV prototype vehicles perform in real life use, while the power companies invest and conduct RandD in creating a viable infrastructure for recharging automobiles, and in the end selling electricity. It's somewhat along the lines of what automakers here in North America are doing with regards to hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles (eg. GM's Project Driveway).

The brand that's just recently announced an electric vehicle available for purchase might be a bit of a surprise candidate. Subaru, best known for their quirky all wheel drive vehicles will be selling a pure electric vehicle microcar by 2009 called the R1e, a vehicle that it has developed with the Tokyo Electric Power Company. In the area that the TEPC operates, there are currently (no pun intended) 150 high-voltage charging stations for electric cars, with plans to expand.

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