In spite of Tesla's claims that the Model S will be the "world's first mass produced EV", the Subara Stella EV is going on sale to retail customers in Japan this summer. Subaru started production of 170 Stella EVs recently, within days of Mitsubishi launching the iMiEV.
None of us here at ABG have had the chance yet to try Subaru's new EV, but Inside Line sampled it this week. Unfortunately, the tiny Stella has a similar price tag to the iMiEV at $47,900, but that drops down to $29,000 after a wide array of subsidies.
The Subaru has a smaller battery at 9.2 kWh which yields a nominal range of just 55 miles. The Stella's interior is snug but the torquey electric motor means that it accelerates off the line quickly, getting to 40 mph in just four seconds. The top speed is limited to 60 mph to keep the batteries from overheating. The car can be quick charged to 80 percent in 15 minutes at special high power charging stations. Edmunds concludes that cost and range remain big issues, but the age of the EV is most certainly beginning.