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Reports Suggest Subaru To Stop EV Production

Just the Facts:

* Reports from Japan suggest Fuji Heavy Industries will suspend EV production.
* On the chopping block would be the Subaru Stella, which went on sale in July 2009.
* The company is reportedly waiting for EV demand and infrastructure to mature.

TOKYO — Reports out of Japan suggest that Fuji Heavy Industries, parent company of Subaru, is planning to stop selling the Subaru Stella electric car when the car it’s based on goes out of production next spring. The company has denied the report in Bloomberg, but several more newspapers have published the story. The plug-in electric minicar went on sale in Japan in July 2009.

According to Asian media reports, the Stella sales could end in spring 2011, at which time about 400 will have been sold — and that the EV could stay out of production for as long as five years. Reportedly, the company wants to wait for demand to grow and profitability to be more certain — as well as for a mature infrastructure for service and refueling.

The minicar is priced close to the equivalent of $50,000 in Japan (although subsidies bring the price down to about $30,000) and as such is mainly seeing government and corporate use. The Stella EV uses lithium-ion batteries and was created based on the Subaru R1e concept; its range is about 50 miles on a charge.
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