The ideal vehicle of the future will not waste fossil fuels, will reduce CO2 and other exhaust gas emissions, and will place as little load on the environment as possible. To make this a reality, Subaru believe that the ideal electric vehicle is one powered by renewable energy sources such as wind power generators, combined with regenerative braking systems that convert kinetic energy while the vehicle is in motion to electrical energy when the brakes are applied. To provide the ideal vehicle of the future, Subaru are aiming to ensure that electric vehicles are better integrated in society by further improving performance, designing vehicles more suited to recharge stations and road conditions, and optimising cost concerns.

        Subaru have been involved in the development of low emission vehicles such as hybrid vehicles since the mid-1990s through an ongoing process of trial and error. One of the more successful designs owes its development to the outstanding progress of lithium ion batteries. Here, the vehicle is built around a simple yet highly efficient electric vehicle system instead of a conventional engine. The resulting R1e electric vehicle that Subaru have developed boasts an extremely high efficiency when compared to ordinary petrol powered vehicles. The R1e is vehicle that is ideally suited to urban environments in that it emits no CO2 when driving and is extremely quiet. The convenience of the R1e is evident as the battery can be recharged by simply connecting the power plug to a home power outlet, while a special rapid charger can deliver an 80% charge in just 15 minutes. Running costs are also vastly reduced compared to a petrol powered vehicle. Demonstration tests of 40 R1e electric vehicles driven on public roads began in June 2006 in a joint effort with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO, Japan), one of the world’s leading power companies. Demonstration tests were also carried out in September 2007 following collaboration with the Kanagawa Prefectural government. The valuable data obtained from these tests will be applied to electric vehicle designs to make them even more convenient and comfortable than they are today.

        Subaru have transplanted the Electric Vehicle (EV) system employed in the prototype R1e into the Japanese mini-car Stella and further fine-tuned it to create the Subaru Plug-in Stella Concept. The base vehicle, featuring a compact yet tall wagon type design, has been given exceptional packaging and superb utility functions to create an electric vehicle that meets a wider array of market needs. The resulting vehicle can reach a top speed of 100 km/h with a range of 80 km from a single charge.

        Eco Technologies Company is one part of the Subaru group that is advancing technology development toward the environmental century. The company is developing a wind power generation system that uses natural energy sources to help prevent global warming. The latest system, the SUBARU 80/2.0, is a large-scale turbine that can generate power at a level of 2,000 kW, enough to power 1,500 households, and is the world’s first large-scale commercial generator to adopt a downwind rotor, which fully utilises the energy of wind blowing up from the ground. It is structured in such a way that the large and heavy parts, such as the nacelle, can be disassembled into smaller components for easier transportation to the installation site. Emissions of greenhouse gases during power generation are minimal when compared to thermal power generation, meaning an environmentally friendly transport system can be created when combined with electric vehicles.