Subaru’s First Electric Car Will Be the Solterra SUV


You might think every
manufacturer has an electric SUV by now—but wait, there’s more! Subaru teased its upcoming Solterra electric SUV Tuesday morning, claiming it’s a vehicle that’s all about appreciating mother nature, though confusingly so, considering the impact a vehicle this size can have on the planet, EV or ICE. Subaru didn’t release any photos of the Solterra, however, nor give away much info, focusing instead on the EV’s backstory.

What Subaru did tell us is that it will be jointly developed with Toyota as the product of a partnership that started way back in 2019. The goal then was to develop a battery-electric SUV available in the first half of the 2020s, and the Solterra is that model. As targeted, it should be available to order in the U.S. and Canada mid-2022.

The Solterra will use the e-Subaru Global platform, which is another byproduct of the collaborative project mentioned above. It will be the underpinning of Subaru—and potentially Toyota’s—EV projects going forward, much like GM’s Ultium. Although the first product is an SUV, there’s no guarantee what future cars will use that platform, as the system is modular and can be customized to suit basically any chassis. As Subaru put it, it can be changed to suit the “front, center and rear of a vehicle.”

Much like the Toyota bZ4x concept that was unveiled last month, this is a joint project where Toyota brought its electrification expertise (and platform) to the truck, while Subaru supplied its all-wheel-drive system and off-roading expertise to make this a competitive offering.

If you were wondering, it’s named after the Latin words for ‘sun’ and ‘earth’ (“sol” and “terra”) and apparently “Subaru gave this name to the EV to appreciate mother nature and further advance the form of coexistence with it, together with our customers, and to represent our commitment to deliver traditional Subaru SUV’s go-anywhere capabilities in an all-electric vehicle.”

Nothing says treating nature right like hooning a two-ton truck through it, after all. 

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