Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Subaru to Show EV in Tokyo

Another auto maker is suggesting the future is with electric cars.

CNet is reporting Subaru will be showing an electric car prototype at the Tokyo Auto Show later this month. Unlike many electric prototypes - Nissan's Pivo comes to mind - the G4e looks like it could appear in showrooms today. Story includes a photo and gives some stats: Lithium batteries, 125 mile range, but no word on whether it's actually to go into production.

Cnet's story raises two important questions. Will a mainstream producer of an electric car spell trouble for the small companies - Tesla, Th!nk, Miles, Phoenix - hoping to enter the EV space abandoned by the majors?

And, will consumers accept a sub-200 mile range car?

Clearly, the first major to offer an EV will have a tremendous market advantage. Whether any are truly brave enough remains to be seen.

On the range front, most of us who have experience with OEM electrics know 125 miles is more than adequate. There are at least a few thousand ex-EV1, EV+ and Th!nk City drivers waiting for the opportunity to buy a 75 -150 mile range EV. Bring 'em on!