Subaru hybrid cars are
for now, concept cars only. In fact, the line of Subaru
hybrid cars only contains one - the Subaru
B9 SC Scrambler Hybrid - in its lineup.
The Subaru Scrambler Hybrid
car was unveiled at the 2003 Tokyo Auto Show sporting
sleek lines and plenty of spunk. The only problem is that
on the production end, Subaru, or rather their parent
company, Fuji Heavy, cannot figure out how to mass produce
this hybrid car in an economical fashion.
For more details on the Scrambler, see the Subaru B9 SC Scrambler
Hybrid page. The other green car that Subaru has up its sleeve
is the all-electric, all-the-time R1e electric minicar. This
plug-'n'-play vehicle is supposed to hit the Japanese showrooms
in 2009. While doing hybrid development on the Scrambler, Subaru
did have some technological successes, primarily in the area
of high-density lithium-ion battery development.
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Subaru Scrambler (top) and Legacy (bottom) are the first
hybrid cars expected in the Subaru line-up.
The lithium-ion battery will be used in both the Scrambler
and the R1e electric minicar. Rumor has it also that Subaru
will be selling these battery pack units to Toyota in exchange
for using Toyota's hybrid technology in order to bring hybrid
Subaru's to market early.
The Subaru lithium-ion battery is touted as having the
capability of being recharged to 90-percent capacity within
5 minutes. Subaru has developed the new battery in cooperation
with NEC Corporation in their joint venture company called
NEC Lamilion Energy Ltd. By integrating NEC's laminate cell
technology with Subaru's (Fuji Heavy Inc.'s) battery pack
technology, the new company aims to develop a rechargeable
battery that sets the global standard. NEC has already developed
and is producing a high-security manganese lithium-ion cell
with laminate packaging technology for watches and mobile
There is also rumored to be a gasoline-electric of the
Subaru Legacy, which will be debuted in Japan in 2007. The
hybrid version of the Legacy may be the first results of
the alliance between Toyota and Subaru. The battery pack
for the Legacy is also expected to last 15 years, according
to Subaru officials.