Forget the electric pickup truck wars, which has Ford, GM and Rivian duking it out for market share. The electric wagon-meets-crossover battle is heating up with Toyota, Subaru, Hyundai and Kia all introducing new EVs this year.
The latest is Subaru, which opened up reservations Tuesday for its upcoming 2023 Solterra EV. The Solterra, the automaker’s first electric vehicle, will go on sale this summer in all 50 states.
Customers can pay a $250 refundable reservation fee to select their preferred retailer, pick trim and color — a few choices that will give Subaru important insight into what vehicle variants to prioritize. Subaru has been squeezed by a global shortage of semiconductor chips, meaning any information on what the coming demand might be is useful.
Customers will be contacted between April and May 2022 to make the final agreements on the order, including the pricing, availability and financing, the company said.
Subaru also announced Tuesday a partnership with EVgo to give customers access to its public EV charging network.
The Subaru Solterra is nearly identical to the Toyota bZ4X, both of which were showcased at the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Both the bZ4X and the Solterra are the product of a partnership between Toyota and Subaru to jointly develop a platform dedicated to battery electric vehicles. There are a few slight differences between the two vehicles, the taillights being one example.
The inside of the Solterra looks a lot like the Toyota bZ4X. The exterior, chassis and all-wheel system — a hallmark of the outdoorsy focused automaker — is Subaru.
Solterra comes with a 71.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which is sourced from Toyota, that sits low between the axles and is paired with two electric motors that generate 215 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. Subaru has estimated the range to be around 220-plus miles and claims the vehicle can be charged from 0 to 80% in just about 30 minutes using DC fast chargers.