Our favorite SUV alternative, Subaru, is currently working on new ways to improve on our existing electric drive vehicle technologies and will, someday, implement them into their current line up of AWD vehicles. In September 2005 Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd (FHI) and Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. (TEPCO) began the joint development of an EV vehicle based on Subaru's R1e concept car. Together they made 10 prototype vehicles to examine their performance and analyze their economic benefits.
Subaru is also working on a hybrid prototype called the Subaru B5-TPH which was shown at the Tokyo Motor show in October of 2005. This vehicle will be based on high-performance manganese lithium-ion battery technology created by FHI and NEC, who have partnered to form NEC Lamilion Energy, Ltd. These battery packs are said to have a high degree of capacity, and are small enough to fit in a space off 100mm (3.9 inches) or less, in height. The batteries also charge quickly, 90 percent of full battery capacity after a five-minute charge. Due to their flat design the batteries are said to be cooler and can be packaged as one unit, which makes them easier to maintain. Along with this new battery technology Subaru is developing a lithium-ion capacitor.
It'll be a few more years before we see the EV Subaru R1e or the Subaru B5-TPH is in our show rooms. But we're pretty sure it'll be worth the wait.
Good to hear
written by P.J. Onori, October 12, 2006
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