According to a report from the Nikkei newspaper in Japan, Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, recently announced that it will begin selling electric vehicles overseas by 2013.
The report cites an interview with FHI president Ikuo Mori. In the interview, Mori notes that by working closely with their top shareholder Toyota, they have decided to begin the shift to environmentally friendly cars as soon as possible. In order to lower costs, high volumes are needed. As Mori said, "It's necessary to go global and enjoy the benefits of volume production."
The automaker plans to begin selling EVs in Europe by 2013 and then gradually expanding across the globe later on with North America on its list of potential markets in the future.
Subaru will launch a hybrid vehicle in 2012, followed by a possible plug-in hybrid model shortly thereafter. The company currently sells an electrified version of its compact Stella minivan to commercial businesses in Japan. According to the report, this vehicle is unlikely to see export overseas. Instead, the company will develop an EV version modeled after one of the companies subcompact offerings.
FHI is considering developing the electric drive motors for both hybrids and electrics in house while it will outsource batteries used in these applications.