Subaru halts production of plug-in-hybrid cars to cut costs

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Subaru has announced it will halt development of plug-in-hybrid vehicles to focus on electric and hybrid vehicles.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles typically combine an internal combustion engine and an electric powertrain, as well as a rechargeable battery that requires plugging in at a power station. A typical plug-in hybrid can travel for an average of 80 kilometers on battery power alone. 

Subaru’s move is intended to lower the cost of developing clean-energy vehicles. Due to low sales, Subaru decided to discontinue its plug-in offerings. According to S&P Global, plug-in hybrids accounted for only 2% of the global auto market last year.

Subaru currently offers a plug-in hybrid Crosstrek SUV, but the model will no longer be available in this configuration beginning next year. The Crosstrek has been priced at $36,845 since 2018, but sales have been slow, with only 2,600 units sold in the United States last year, accounting for less than 1% of Subaru’s total unit sales in the country, according to data from auto research firm MarkLines.

Subaru will focus on electric vehicles (EV) in the future, with the company planning to invest 250 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in EV development and production over the next five years.

Subaru’s current EV offerings are developed in collaboration with Toyota Motor, which owns a 20% stake of the automaker. Despite this, Subaru is likely to develop EVs on its own in the future.