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Subaru Plans New Hybrid and Electric Models for North America

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness | Photo: D.Boshouwers
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Daniel Rufiange
Subaru's upcoming electrified vehicles will again be developed in partnership with Toyota

•    Subaru is reportedly planning to bring new hybrid and electric models to North America by 2025.

•    The company should be able to develop its own electrified products within three to four years.

•    One model that could be partially electrified is the Forester, and it could use a number of elements taken from the Toyota RAV4 Prime.

Subaru will soon offer its first all-electric model with the Solterra SUV, a vehicle developed in partnership with Toyota. The Japanese automaker doesn't intend to stop there on the road to electrification; it has stated that it wants 40 percent of its global sales to be electrified vehicles by 2030. 

To get there, it has built a new research and development centre at its main plant in Japan, and created an engineering manufacturing division solely for electric vehicles. 

Subaru Solterra EV
Subaru Solterra EV | Photo: Subaru

The response from consumers to the new Solterra has been encrouaging enough that Subaru now targets a 50-60 percent ratio for its electrified models. Automotive News reports that the company's senior vice president of planning, Tomoaki Emori, told analysts on a recent conference call that the electrification plan is aimed at adding hybrid and electric models for the U.S. market. He added that for the U.S., “We have shifted our weight toward that in our development.”

Logically, this applies to Canada as well, as Subaru's current lineups are basically the same on either side of the Canada-U.S. border. 

So what does the future hold, then? In the short term, we can expect that the new electric vehicles offered by 2025 will be developed jointly with Toyota. The reason for that is that it will be three to four years before Subaru is able to design and build its own electric vehicles at its Gunma, Japan plant. 

Hybrid models will also be born of collaboration, and the first to come out of that could be a Forester PHEV. If we crunch all the information gathered in recent years, everything points in the direction of such a model coming through the pipeline. Speculation that started in late 2021 has the Forester PHERV receiving the Toyota RAV4 Prime’s plug-in hybrid powertrain. 

2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness
2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness | Photo: D.Boshouwers

This would allow the lineup to replace its Crosstrek PHEV with a more interesting solution. The next-generation Crosstrek, recently introduced at the Chicago Auto Show, will not be offered as a plug-in hybrid. 

Of course, there’s a huge portion of this that remains unconfirmed. But for sure, we can count on Subaru making official announcements regarding electrification in the coming months and years. In fact the company is expected to outline its electrification plans later this year. We'll know more by then.

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists