Subaru has decided to go ahead with their battery electric version of the Stella minicar and swing into full scale production making it the world's first mass produced EV available for purchase by the public.

The electric Stella will go on sale in Japan next month. Though Subaru is using an existing platform for the car, they will be the first major automaker to bring an electric car to market. Subaru will beat out the likes of Mitsubishi and Nissan if they hit their expected sales date.

Currently, Nissan is about a year away from its EV introduction and Mitsubishi is several months away from actual sales of its iMiEV, excluding the fleet leasing that kick off next month. Yes, it is a small discrepancy that allows Subaru to state this claim as world's first, but you better believe they will find any loophole possible to be a revolutionary leader.

The Stella uses a lithium-ion battery pack which provides power to a 47 kw electric motor. The vehicle is expected to have a range of about 56 miles and will top out around 60 mph.

The vehicle can be recharged at one's home in as little as 5 hours or at a recharging station in a scant 15 minutes.

Subaru has no plans at this time to make the Stella in large numbers. They only anticipate selling 170 units from July to March of 2010.

The vehicle will come to market at a base price of $49,000, but buyers will get an additional $14,300 in incentives.

Subaru seizes the opportunity and becomes the first major automaker to sell an electric car. I bet Mitsubishi is quite upset as we just days ago reported they would be the first. Oh well, there's always next time.