Subaru has cooked up another electric kei car for me to park in my fantasy green garage, right next to the R1e and Mitsubishi i MiEV I don't currently have. It's a plug-in concept version of the Stella, and it will make its formal debut at next month's G8 summit in Hokkaido, Japan. Five of the cars will be on hand at the conference -- four to shuttle folks hither and to, and one on static display as part of the on-site Environmental Showcase
The electric powertrain is the same one Subaru uses in its R1e demonstrator -- permanent magnet synchronous motor with a maximum power output of 40 kW powered by a lithium ion battery pack. Operating range on a full charge is 80 kilometers, and the cars have a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). The plug-in Stella is an advance over the 2-seat R1e in that, like Mitsubishi's i MiEV, its wagonoid body is a far more practical package overall.