Subaru’s first real production electric vehicle will be a crossover twinned with the Toyota bZ4X. Called the Solterra, Subaru’s interpretation of the Toyota BEV high rider is apparently only the tip of the spear when it comes to the manufacturer’s plan to electrify its lineup; it plans to invest more in EV research and development in order to meet the growing demand for such vehicles.
The first step, as announced in an article on Automotive News, will be the creation of a seven-story technical centre at its Japanese headquarters near Tokyo. The plan is to open this facility in 2024 with the goal of bringing more of its workers and engineers under the same roof in order to improve speed and flexibility as the company tries to adapt to the shift towards electric vehicles.
Subaru intends to pour some $272-million (£196-million) into this new R&D centre and it will employ some 2,800 people. The company also created a new management position for a chief technology officer (CTO), stating that their aim is to:
Create an organisation that is well suited to developing new technologies such as electrification technology, software and communications.
The longer term plan at Subaru is to have electrified vehicles provide up to 40 percent of its entire world wide sales volume by the end of the current decade. The automaker has a lot to do and aside from the aforementioned Solterra that is jointly developed with Toyota, it has made no mention of another fully-electric vehicle that it may have in the pipeline - there is a chance future EVs from Subaru may be designed on another company’s platform or as part of a joint effort like the Solterra (or the BRZ in the video embedded below).