Subaru has unveiled two promotional images for the Solterra EV, the company’s first electric vehicle. It will be available in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan in 2022, and will be powered by Subaru’s co-developed electric vehicle platform with Toyota. The photos, in true teaser fashion, don’t reveal too much. One picture, which appears to be a rendering rather than a snapshot, reveals that the EV will look roughly similar to Subaru’s other SUVs, though it will be on the smaller side. The other is a close-up of the rear tag, which features a slight splash of mud as a reference to Subaru’s off-road credentials.
Insights of Subaru Electric Car – Solterra EV:
But that’s pretty much all Subaru has to say for the time being. There’s no word on pricing or specifications, and there’s no word on whether Subaru can use the Solterra to refresh the way it designs its interiors (as many other automakers have with their first electric vehicles). The name “was developed using the Latin words for ‘Sun’ and ‘Earth’ to reflect Subaru’s dedication to offering conventional SUV capabilities in an environmentally friendly package,” according to Subaru — which, even for Subaru, is refreshingly harmonic in terms of corporate naming conventions.
The Solterra is unquestionably more appealing to the eye than the “BZ4X,” the name of Toyota’s first SUV to be built on this common platform with Subaru. The BZ4X will be available in 2022 and will be based on this shared platform, which Toyota refers to as the e-TNGA and Subaru refers to as the e-Subaru (which is not so harmonic). The vehicles based on this platform would benefit from Subaru’s experience with making excellent all-wheel-drive systems and Toyota’s years of improving battery technology for hybrids, according to the companies.
Important Points to be observed in Subaru’s Solterra EV:
- The Solterra would be comparable in size to the Forester, which is currently powered by a combustion engine. It will be built on the e-TNGA electric vehicle platform, which Subaru developed in collaboration with Toyota.
- Due to the ability to fit motors on both axles, the construction is designed to be highly adaptable to allow for vehicles of various lengths and can be used for front, rear, and four-wheel-drive configurations. It can also accommodate a variety of battery sizes. Toyota plans to build six electric vehicles based on the e-TNGA platform.
- Subaru hasn’t revealed any other technical information about the new EV other than the shared network. Subaru debuted an electric concept car at a technology briefing in January (pictured), and the eventual production EV is supposed to borrow styling cues from it.
- Subaru’s first electric vehicle Solterra EV is a significant step forward in the company’s electrification efforts. Forester, Impreza, and XC mild-hybrid models were recently launched, and the company is planning for at least 40% of global sales to be electric or hybrid by 2030.
- Subaru had intended for the first electric car to be based on an existing model designed on its own Global Platform, but due to its current relationship with Toyota, it has changed its mind.
Further Details of Solterra EV:
- The Solterra will make use of the e-Subaru Global platform, which is a by-product of the previously described collaborative project. It, like GM’s Ultium, will be the foundation for Subaru’s—and possibly Toyota’s—EV ventures in the future.
- Although the first product is an SUV, the device is modular and can be modified to fit almost any chassis, so there’s no way of knowing what potential cars will use it. It can be adjusted to fit the “front, center, and rear of a vehicle,” as Subaru put it.
- This is a joint project, similar to the Toyota bZ4x concept unveiled last month, in which Toyota provided its electrification expertise (and platform), while Subaru provided its all-wheel-drive system and off-roading expertise to make this a viable offering.
- If you’re curious, it’s named after the Latin words for “sun” and “earth” (“sol” and “terra”), and Subaru apparently “gave this name to the EV to honor mother nature and advance the form of coexistence with it, together with our customers, and to reflect our dedication to offering traditional Subaru SUV’s go-anywhere capabilities in an all-electric vehicle.”
- The Solterra crossover will be powered by a newly developed next-generation EV powertrain with a maximum output of around 290 PS and 4WD as standard equipment, according to Response. A large-capacity lithium-ion battery will have a cruising range of 500 kilometers for the family car.
- In the United States, the base Subaru Solterra will cost about $40,000, making it the company’s most important market in terms of price.
- Subaru wants to electrify its entire range by 2035 and shift 40% of global sales to battery-electric and hybrid models by 2030 as part of its long-term plan. The strength of the relationship between Subaru and Toyota will be determined by the strengths of each brand, with Toyota bringing its electrification expertise and Subaru bringing its all-wheel-drive expertise.
Even with the press release’s brevity, being able to discuss Subaru’s first electric vehicle Solterra EV never seemed like a guarantee. Subaru, like Toyota, has steered clear of a high-profile or costly shift to electric vehicles at a time when almost every other automaker has done so. The company’s cautious stance has come across as a sober assessment of the current market at best, and out of touch at worst, as when it promoted its all-wheel-drive system as a “great opportunity to cope with recent climate change” in a now-deleted press release.
Subaru currently sells mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid Crosstrek, Impreza, and Forester versions, and by 2025, the company plans to introduce new hybrid models using Toyota’s technology. Toyota, on the other hand, was a leader in hybrid cars before introducing the first fully electric model, the Toyota C-HR EV, in China last year. It revealed plans to launch 15 battery-electric cars globally by 2025 last month.
Subaru will continue to hone the distinguishing qualities that make a Solterra EV a Subaru, while retaining the specific characteristics that consumers have come to expect, in order to set it apart from other brands.