Designed for ease-of-parking urban use but with a sporty stance which hints at high-grip roadholding, the 2+2 R1e is shorter than conventional Japanese minicars.
It uses an Electric Vehicle power unit comprising a high-performance battery and advanced power control technology aimed at caring for the environment.
The light, compact, brushless motor uses a high-energy manganese lithium-iron battery which can be re-charged via a single-phase 200V AC outlet such as that used in the air-conditioning units of many Japanese homes.Source - Subaru
Capable of reaching speeds up to 65 mph with a range of up to 50 miles, the two-seat Subaru R1e uses an AC permanent magnet synchronized motor that produced 40 kW. Produced by Subaru of America, Inc. which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. Of Japan, the R1e uses new lithium ion batteries also designed in layers that allows for simple recycling at the end of their ten-year life.
Featuring state-of-the-are, fast-charge lithium ion battery technology, the Subaru R1e eliminates typical lithium ion battery issues of charge memory loss, allowing partial charges and quick charges that in no way decrease battery life. The vehicle is capable of being ‘quick-charged' to 80% capacity in only 15 minutes using quick-charge technology, and a typical charge costs less than $2. While connected to a standard household electrical outlet, the vehicle can be fully charged overnight in eight hours.
Assuming that most U.S. and European drivers commute less than 40 miles a day, the Subaru has a range of 50 miles at a top speed of 65 mph. A two-seater minicar, the R1e is similar to the gas-powered SmartForTwo.
At the moment 10 prototypes have been constructed and are currently undergoing testing by a Japanese electric company. Starting in 2008, plans for 3000 of these vehicles are in the works, with the launch of these vehicles beginning in 2010.
A joint development between Subaru and Tokyo Electric Power Company, the first Subarur R1e prototype was completed in June of 2006. In 2008 TEPCO will be running thirty Subaru R1e's in field trials in Japan, and will begin to replace 3000 of their light mini-cars with R1e's starting in 2009.
Weighing approximately 1914 lbs, the Subaru R1e featured batteries that were developed by NEX Lamilion and are called NLW thin manganese lithium-ion type batteries. Following seven years of testing and 1000 km per year, the NEC Lamilion battery still has an 85% storage capability. Considered one its most remarkable features, Subaru R1e NEL Lamilion batteries put the vehicle in a category as good as any gasoline-powered vehicle, according to Kazumasa Arai, the Manager Core Technology R&D for Subaru.
The Subaru R1E has been awarded the ‘2006 Commendation For Global Warming Prevention Activity' award. This is a top award from Japan's Minister of the Environment highlighting the Subaru R1e's reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.By Jessica Donaldson