Friday, June 5, 2009

Subaru to sell electric Stella next month in Japan

Japan always gets the latest tech developments before the rest of the world, a fact reaffirmed by Subaru's move to sell an electric car this July in, you guessed it, Japan. This battery electric vehicle, built on Subaru's Stella mini car, doesn't sound particularly impressive from its specifications, but Subaru is the first major automaker bringing an electric car to market this decade, preceding the likes of Mitsubishi and Nissan in their efforts.

The Stella EV stores electricity in a lithium ion battery pack, powering a 47 kilowatt motor. Range is only about 56 miles, with a top speed of 62 mph. Subaru claims a recharge time of 15 minutes at a quick charging station, or 5 hours at a 200 volt AC outlet, which are typical numbers for current technology.

Subaru plans on selling just 170 units of the electric Stella from late July until March 2010, the end of its financial year. Price is set at 4,725,000 yen, equal to about $49,000 at current exchange rates. Buyers will get a subsidy of about $14,300, according to Subaru's press release.

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