Mitsubishi made history this past week by being the first major automaker to begin series production of an electric car, the i MiEV. Subaru didn't want its rival to get all the media love, and it immediately announced that it, too, had begun making the Stella EV. While the production numbers for the Stella are not as high as for the i MiEV - Subaru will only make 170 - it's safe to say that the electric car race has now been joined. Deliveries for the Stella EV will start in Japan next month.
The Stella EV uses a 47 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can charge in five hours from a 220-volt plug (or from 110V). A quick-charge system can fill the battery 80 percent in just 15 minutes. The car can go about 55 miles on a charge and has a top speed of 62 mph. Not great for the highway, but just about perfect for city use. Interested? The Stella will cost more than the i MiEV, ¥4,700,000 ($47,600 U.S.) to ¥4,380,000 ($45,500). Buyers of both cars can get up to ¥1.38 million back from the Japanese government.