Subaru Testing EVs Stateside

March 21, 2008

The New York auto show is open to the public today, and aside from the rollicking Dodge Challenger and Pontiac G8 musclecars and the exotic Benz SL on display, they'll also be seeing a fair amount of green machines, including this experimental electric-powered Subaru.

The R1e, Subaru says, is the battery-powered version of its home-market R1. The electric version was developed in partnership with a Japanese power company, and the duo has been it in Japan for the past two years. In the U.S., a pair of R1e city cars will be put to use by the New York Power Authority.

The basics of the car include a fast-charge lithium-ion battery that's formulated for quick charges. Subaru says at 65 mph, the R1e has a 50-mile range and can be charged to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes (or to full charge in eight hours) through a regular household outlet. The batteries are good for 10 years and 100,000 miles, Subaru says.

By the end of next year, Subaru will have 100 R1e EVs in its Japanese fleet.

“This new partnership with the New York Power Authority is further demonstration of Subaru’s ongoing efforts in applying electric car technology in real world situations. Along with our newly introduced diesel powered cars, electric cars are a viable response to our need to improve fuel consumption and carbon output,” said Tim Mahoney, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Subaru of America, Inc. “The R1e electrical vehicles are designed for city dwellers looking for an environmentally friendly and fun to drive alternative to gas powered cars.”

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