Japanese automaker Subaru is shifting its focus and resources to produce electric vehicles. Subaru announced a new electrification plan Wednesday, calling for eight EV models by 2028 and a 50% BEV sales share by the end of the decade.
Subaru updates EV strategy
A day after a report claimed Toyota would begin building a new three-row Subaru electric SUV at its manufacturing facility in Georgetown, Kentucky, in 2025, Subaru is now stepping up to the plate.
Subaru’s president and CEO, Atsushi Osaki, announced the new electrification plans Wednesday after releasing its quarterly results.
Osaki drastically adjusted the automaker’s strategy, calling for a 50% BEV share, or 600,000 unit sales in 2030. In the US, its largest market (roughly 70% of sales), Subaru is now aiming to sell 400,000 EVs in 2028.
This is a big difference compared to Subaru’s previous plans of 40% EV and hybrid share (combined). Rather than 60% ICE sales, Subaru now aims for a 50/50 BEV to HEV mix.
Subaru plans to begin in-house EV production in 2025, adding dedicated EV production lines around 2027. In the US, Subaru will begin EV production around 2027.
The growth will be supported by a 1.5 trillion yen ($10.4 billion) investment by around 2030, including 250 billion yen previously announced for domestic production reorganization.
Subaru plans to introduce four electric SUVs by the end of 2026 (including the Solterra) and another four new EV models by the end of 2028, for a total of eight.
The automaker’s sole EV, the Subaru Solterra, is built by Toyota (who owns 20% of Subaru) and rides on its e-TNGA platform, the same one used for the bZ4X electric SUV.
Toyota assembles both electric vehicles at its Motomachi assembly plant in Japan. Subaru has sold 3,730 Solterra EVs in the US this year through July, roughly 1% of total sales.
Earlier this week, Subaru and Panasonic announced they had begun talks to supply next-gen cylindrical lithium-ion batteries from the latter half of the 2020s. The plans include a dedicated EV plant in Gunma, Japan.
The move comes after Toyota and other Japanese automakers recently announced similar plans to boost competitiveness as the industry shifts to EVs.
Toyota revealed a series of new innovations to boost competitiveness in the EV era, including a dedicated platform, next-gen batteries that will increase range and drive down costs, design enhancements, and manufacturing improvements to optimize efficiency.
The Japanese government is increasing support for battery tech with 330 billion yen ($2.3 billion) in subsidies to avoid falling further behind. Toyota is expected to receive nearly 120 billion ($847 million) to fuel its EV battery tech strategy.
With Toyota building dedicated EV assembly and battery manufacturing capacity, Subaru will get a foot in the door. But, the next few years will be critical for Subaru to maintain its position in its biggest, most profitable market.