Subaru Stella Plug-In Electric Vehicle Announced
The name Subaru usually conjures up thoughts of all-wheel-drive rally machines. However, its parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries, announced today that Subaru will be launching the tiny front-wheel-drive Stella Plug-In Electric Vehicle in Japan next month.
The Stella EV is based on the Subaru Stella mini car sold in Japan. The four-passenger car combines a small lightweight body with an efficient electric powertrain to provide an ideal means of transportation for daily commuters.
At the heart of the Stella EV is a 346 volt high-performance lithium-ion battery. The battery can be re-charged up to 80 percent of its capacity in 15 minutes using the quick-charging system. A full charge takes 8 hours using a standard 100-volt household power outlet or 5 hours using a 200-volt hook-up. Around town the battery also recovers some if its energy through regenerative braking.
Driving the front wheels is a 47 kW (64 hp) electric motor that makes 170 Nm (125 lb-ft) of torque. Top speed for the Stella EV is 100 kmh (62 mph) which might not make it a star at the rally course, but it will be properly suited for driving around town. The range is about 90 km (56 miles).
Fuji Heavy Industries will sell the Stella EV directly in Japan with 170 units planned for this fiscal year ending in March 2010. Authorized Subaru dealerships will be set up to service the cars. The price will be 4,725,000 yen ($48,851) including consumption tax. If that sounds a little steep, don’t worry. The Japanese “Next Generation Vehicle Promotion Center” will offer a subsidy of up to 1,380,000 yen ($14,267) and the Stella EV may qualify for additional tax reductions as well.