Japanese carmaker Subaru confirms it's considering developing electric vehicles. The company, however, won't be spending its money and resources on new plugged-in vehicles. Instead, it will focus its research and development in its current car models and turn these into electronic version options.
Chief Executive Officer Yasuyuki Yoshinaga revealed the company's move in an interview with Bloomberg. The plan is to pour $1.2 billion in developing electric powertrains that will be installed in the current cars.
This would eliminate the need for a partnership with other automakers that will drive operation cost. The decision will also seal the company's reputation and reliability as one of the safest cars to drive.
"Providing the choice of an EV means the customer can still desire the same Subaru," Yoshinaga said. "We're a small automaker...we can't do everything," he added, as per NasDaq.
The CEO acknowledged it cannot spend its research and development budget for new technologies in the same way bigger carmakers like Toyota and other global brands have been in recent years. Yoshinaga, however, also acknowledged that the company will need to keep with the pace, especially since technology is accelerating a lot of changes in the auto industry. Hence, Subaru's focus is in making small, calculated but significant improvements.
One area Subaru intends to improve is its vehicle's Eyesight function. The company wants this technology more developed so that Subaru can compete with other vehicles with automated technology.
Subaru also wants to develop an all-battery EV that will be based on Toyota's plug-in hybrids. Yoshinaga also revealed consumers and car enthusiasts could likely see the company's plug-in hybrid in early 2018 and an all-battery EV in 2021, as per Autoblog. Subaru, however, won't push into developing self-driving cars or car-sharing vehicles for now. Learn more about Subaru's plans for its electronic vehicles in the video below.