Subaru will continue to work with fellow Japanese carmaker Toyota on electric vehicle (EV) development, with plans to launch three new electric SUVs by the end of 2026.

    Automotive News reports Subaru CEO Atsushi Osaki told reporters earlier this week that the brand would jointly develop the EVs with Toyota due to “risks” in the market.

    “At the moment, it is quite difficult to predict how things will go from here with EVs,” Osaki-san said during Subaru’s end-of Japanese financial year presentation.

    “There is a huge risk for us to go it alone in this field. We have held talks with Toyota and have agreed that it is better to reduce risks through joint development.

    “The outlook for BEVs [battery-electric vehicles] remain unclear in 2028 and beyond, but if there will be a certain volume of BEVs on the market, we would like to capture that trend and market Subaru original BEV product.”

    As recently reported, demand for EVs is cooling in some major markets, causing multiple carmakers to walk back sales targets for electric models in the coming years.

    Subaru is sticking with its target for EVs to account for half of its projected 1.2 million sales in 2030, even though it only sold about 14,000 examples of its Solterra electric SUV last year – approximately six per cent of its total global sales.

    To meet its lofty EV sales targets, Osaki-san said Subaru plans to launch three additional electric SUVs (or crossovers) by the end of 2026, all of which will come from the Toyota partnership.

    An additional four EVs are due to join Subaru’s global lineup by 2029.

    As previously reported, Subaru is targeting the US as its primary market for growth, forecasting it’ll sell 400,000 EVs there by 2028, or about half of its sales volume in the country.

    According to Automotive News, one of the three new electric SUVs will be produced in Japan and exported not only to the US but also other global markets, contributing to an expected annual EV production capacity of 200,000 vehicles.

    The remaining vehicles are expected to be built in the US, with one of these reportedly set to be a three-row electric SUV, launching after Toyota puts its own version (expected to be called the bZ5X) into production.

    The Solterra, currently Subaru’s only EV, is all but identical to the Toyota bZ4X.

    Toyota, which builds the Solterra for Subaru, owns 20 per cent of the smaller carmaker.

    The two companies have collaborated before, most notably on the Toyota 86/GR86 and Subaru BRZ sports coupes.

    Subaru has sold just 202 examples of the Solterra in Australia since its March 2024 launch, less than its Toyota bZ4X twin (385 sales since late February) and significantly down on the 1166 similarly priced Tesla Model Ys sold in April alone.

    MORE: Everything Subaru
    Subaru details more ambitious electric car plans

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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