Subaru, under its new CEO Atsushi Osaki, announced acceleration of its electrification efforts and new ambitious goals.
The main point of the new plan is to increase the battery electric vehicle (BEV) share in overall sales to 50 percent by 2030. Considering the forecast of 1.2 million annual sales at that point, we are talking about 600,000 BEVs annually.
That's a radical change compared to the previous efforts, which according to media reports, is caused by the acknowledgement of the rapid changes in the general market (electrification everywhere) - especially in the United States, which is the largest and most profitable for Subaru. It almost sounds like the company is aware that it can't delay electrification any longer.
Let's recall that in May, the company expected about 400,000 BEV sales annually by 2028, which also was a step change.
Not only will the volume increase - Subaru is preparing to have eight all-electric models, compared to four planned previously. Currently, there is only one model - the Subaru Solterra (a direct cousin of the Toyota bZ4X and Lexus RZ 450e - all produced at Toyota's Motomachi plant).
Subaru's new three-row, all-electric SUV also will be produced by Toyota - in Kentucky, starting in 2025 (following Toyota's own three-row BEV, "tentatively called the bZ5X"). The partnership between the two Japanese companies is not accidental, as Toyota owns about 20 percent of Subaru (Subaru owns only 0.3 percent of Toyota).
Some of the eight new Subaru BEVs will be produced locally in the US, where the company would like to sell 400,000 units annually by 2028 (about half of the total volume).
In-house production of Subaru BEVs in Japan is expected to start in 2025 with a production capacity of 200,000 units or so. Around 2027, another production line will be added with an additional 200,000 unit capacity. It would leave 200,000 available for some other sites around the world (most likely for the US).
With such ambitious plans, now we better understand the recent announcement about talks with Panasonic, related to EV batteries.
Subaru global electrification plan:
- BEV share: 50% by 2030
(about 600,000 units out of an expected 1.2 million total)
- Lineup: 8 models, including four crossovers/SUVs by the end of 2026
Some models will be produced in Japan, some in the US
- US target: 400,000 BEV sales by 2028 (about half of the total volume)