Subaru Tests R1e Electric Car in New York City, Previews G4e

Subaru will test its R1e electric vehicle in New York City this summer. It will provide two R1e electric cars to the New York Power Authority (NYPA), something similar to its partnership with the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

The R1e is a small two-seater city car (50 miles range, 65 mph top speed). We're guessing Subaru's using it mostly as a learning platform; its first mainstream electric car will probably be based on the G4e concept, a hatchback very similar to Nissan's Versa that will have a longer range (124 miles/200 km) and carry 5 passengers. You can see a photo of it lower in this post. A cool thing about Subaru's battery packs is that they can be charged to 80% capacity in 15 minutes, or in 8 minutes with a special charger made by Fuji Heavy Industries.

The Subaru R1e employs fast-charge lithium-ion battery technology that eliminates typical lithium ion battery issues of charge memory loss, allowing partial charges and quick charges that do not decrease battery life.

The battery pack, originally developed in partnership with NEC Corporation, uses lithium manganese oxide spinel (LiMn2O4) as the cathode active material. The crystalline spinel structure makes the battery resistant to overcharging and provides high thermal stability. A 346V battery pack powers the 40kW drive motor, and can recharge to 80% capacity in 15 minutes.

Subaru says it wants to start selling EVs in Japan in 2009. About price, all we know is this:

FHI said it plans to have its electric cars down to around ¥2 million (US$17,500) apiece by 2012 or 2013. Mori said that by the mid-2010s, mass production will significantly decrease the cost of batteries, enabling electric cars to come down to below ¥1.5 million (US$13,100).

Above is the bigger G4e.

::Subaru Will Evaluate The R1e EV in the US This Summer
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Tags: Asia | Japan | Transportation

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