Subaru presents their debut-BEV ‘Solterra’
Subaru has now officially unveiled its first electric model, the Solterra. The electric SUV shares the platform and technology with Toyota’s first BEV model, the bZ4X, and is scheduled for market launch in Japan, the USA, Canada, Europe and China from mid-2022.
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To know what the Solterra is capable of, a glance at the performance data of Toyota’s sister model that we have already published is enough: for example, Subaru’s electric mid-size SUV weighing around 2 tonnes will also be available with either a 150 kW front-wheel drive or an all-wheel-drive system combining two electric motors with 80 kW each. The battery pack has an energy content of 71.4 kWh and is said to allow WLTP ranges of around 530 (front-wheel drive) or 460 kilometres (all-wheel-drive).
The maximum DC charging power is specified at 150 kW. Charging up to 80 per cent should take around 30 minutes. For AC charging, an onboard charger with 6.6 kW is available ex-works. Whether a three-phase onboard charger with 11 kW will be offered as an option for the five-seater Subaru SUV next year, as is the case with the bZ4X, is not clear from the accompanying company statement.
The visual proximity of the Solterra to the bZ4X is also striking, according to the press images published to date. Not only are the dimensions identical (4,690 mm x 1,860 mm x 1,600 mm with a wheelbase of 2,850 mm), the design is also very similar. Both feature the same proportions, roof and rear spoilers, similarly slim headlights, a slim, horizontal radiator grille and accents separated in black.
There are no surprises in the cockpit layout either: A flat instrument and information display sits above the steering wheel. The wide centre console between the driver and passenger seats leads into a large touchscreen as the central infotainment unit.
Subaru states that the electric SUV is the result of development along customer expectations combined with true Subaru DNA. It is said to “form the cornerstone for Subaru’s future BEVs”. The platform for the future electric cars has been developed by Subaru together with Toyota – as already announced in 2019. At Toyota, the architecture is called e-TNGA, at the smaller development partner officially e-Subaru Global Platform or e-SGP for short. Subaru is said to have contributed innovations to the all-wheel-drive system in particular, stating that “the e-Subaru Global Platform offers superior driving dynamics, high stability and handling that responds linearly to the driver’s steering movements”.
Subaru says it plans to launch the Solterra globally and is explicitly focusing on Japan, the US, Canada, Europe and China for its market debut in mid-2022. The production version of the sister model bZ4X will celebrate its European premiere on 2 December and will be available for reservation shortly afterwards. The market launch is also planned for mid-2022.
Basically, Subaru wants to become more competitive in the all-electric vehicle segment and is therefore planning to build a $272 million research and development centre for e-mobility near Tokyo. The Japanese carmaker aims to bring its global sales of battery-electric vehicles or hybrid models to at least 40 per cent by 2030. By 2050, the CO2 emissions of new cars sold worldwide are to be reduced by at least 90 per cent compared to 2010.
Update 09 February 2022
Subaru has begun accepting reservations for its first all-electric model Solterra in the United States. For a refundable reservation fee of $250, customers can select their preferred Subaru retailer, trim, and exterior color. Final orders, pricing, availability, and financing will be agreed upon with the retailer between April and May 2022, subject to pricing announcement. Vehicle deliveries are expected to begin in the Summer of 2022. At launch, the Subaru Solterra is available in all 50 states.
In addition to the sales launch, Subaru of America has selected Evgo as its preferred EV charging partner. The deal will give Subaru drivers access to the Evgo charging network, which covers around 800 public fast-charging locations and 1,200+ L2 charging stalls spanning 68 metropolitan areas and 35 states.
“Subaru and EVgo share a commitment to performance, reliability, and being good stewards of the environment, which is why we’re excited to partner up to deliver convenient charging for Solterra drivers,” said David Sullivan, Product Marketing Launch Manager at Subaru.
Update 26 April 2022
Subaru of America has announced U.S. pricing on the fully electric SUV Solterra. Pricing for the 2023 Subaru Solterra starts at $44,995 MSRP for the Premium trim level, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The 2023 Solterra is offered in three trim levels, Premium, Limited, and Touring, and will begin arriving in limited numbers at Subaru retailers in the U.S. this summer.