Geneva Motor Show: Subaru will bring Justy back, is considering all-electric small car

AutoblogGreen readers are no strangers to the R1e (see this previous post, which garnered some good comments), but I think most of the world is fairly unfamiliar with this tiny all-electric car. This may change, though, if Subaru comes through and makes the R1e widely available as a small, zero-emission commuter vehicle, either in Japan or the UK.

All that Subaru is saying on its official media website is the following [FHI is Fuji Heavy Industries, which owns Subaru]:

At present, ten units of the Subaru R1e electric vehicle are used for daily business operations by The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Incorporated (TEPCO), Subaru's joint development partner, for road-testing with an eye to a market debut down the road. FHI intends to commercialize the Subaru R1e as a short-distance commuter car based on the Subaru R1 minivehicle currently available on the Japanese market.

A TEPCO-developed high-speed charger that will charge 80% in no more than 15 minutes will be also showcased.

The Newspress staff is on site in Geneva and, in a story on Subaru's revival of the Justy program later this year (more on that in a bit), once again brings up the possibility of the R1e being on dealer lots, but don't seem to have found any fresh information. They claim that the R1e is "already in production and 30 cars are being used in an experimental EV scheme in Tokyo." Currently, Subaru doesn't have many low-carbon emission vehicles for sale in this range, and with the exemption from the London congestion charge, an R1e could find a willing audience in the UK.

Now, about the Justy small car program. Newspress says that since Subaru and Toyota are in a new relationship (Toyota bought GM's Subaru stake), a new Justy based on the Daihatsu Sirion city car is in the works (Daihatsu is also effectively part of the Toyota group). Newspress says the Justy will be restyled with a Subaru "face", but will essentially be the same as the Sirion.

[Source: Newspress, Subaru]

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