The 2009 Stella Plug-in EV is officially the first EV manufactured by a major automaker for sale to the public. And while that distinction seems less prestigious with every new EV and Hybrid that appears on the horizon, the fact that Subaru is the manufacturer IS somewhat of a surprise given their previous ambivalence towards this segment.
Only a single concept vehicle exists at the moment, but according to Subaru the production version car will be identical and available in Japan in August.
While it only generates 63 horses the EV, as expected, produces a significant amount of torque; 125 ft-lbs, or enough to shuffle about in urban environments comfortably. Consequently, acceleration from 0-40 mph happens in only 4 seconds, though don’t expect to go much faster than that. The vehicle is limited to a top speed of 60 mph to decrease the chance of the battery system overheating and to extend the range of the vehicle, which in optimum conditions (Like not using the AC) is listed at 55 miles. The Stella EV employs what is known as fast charge lithium-ion batteries that are capable of being charged to 80% capacity in as little as 15 minutes.
Initial output of the car is limited to 170, which sort of devalues Subaru’s claim to the “first EV” title. This low number is no doubt attributable to the high relative cost of the diminutive vehicle at around $48,000. Whether Ed Begley Jr. has already put down a deposit is still being investigated.