Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said his company is looking at electrifying existing models of its fleet rather than designing an all-new line-up in its future technological plans.
“If there’s already an attractive Subaru model, for example the XV crossover, and if a customer in Beijing wants one but is only allowed to buy an electric vehicle, if there’s no electric version then he can’t buy it,” he told journalists at Subaru’s Tokyo headquarters.
“Providing the choice of an EV means the customer can still desire the same Subaru.”
Car makers around the world are have pledged billions of dollars of investment into developing EVs in recent months as investment in electric infrastructure, such as charging stations, grows.
Subaru plans to release a plug-in hybrid next year and an all-electric vehicle by 2021, and has budgeted $1.7 billion for their electric research and development. However, this investment lags behind competitors like Toyota and Honda.
Yoshinaga is banking on the company’s reputation in road safety rather than its engines. The brand has performed well in Australasian-based ANCAP road safety tests, with every vehicle graded receiving a 5-star rating. The XV crossover, recently released in New Zealand, scored a 5-star rating overnight.