Winter 2006 Forward to a Friend


Subaru Hybrid Electric Vehicles

“Subaru always has been and will continue to be committed to safeguarding the natural environment that so many of our customers avidly enjoy. We will continue to make … [environmental] technologies a priority in our product development, manufacturing and business process.”

Kunio Ishigami,

Chairman, President and CEO,
Subaru of America, Inc.


The automobile industry faces two major issues related to fuel: Do something to help prevent global warming and reduce our reliance on fossil fuel. These simple charges have led Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd. (FHI) and Subaru to channel millions of dollars into research and make significant advancements in technology – all aimed at building tomorrow’s clean-energy vehicles.

Power by Electrical Energy

Today’s hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) are means to an end. By combining electric motors with gasoline engines, automakers are taking steps toward all-electric vehicular power. One major obstacle in this effort is the current state of electrical storage systems and their inherent problems: They are expensive to build, and they do not provide the capacity needed to power vehicles for extended times and distances.

Subaru faces this challenge relying on its traditional strengths as an automaker. As it focuses on battery technology that incorporates low cost, large capacity and high efficiency, Subaru plans to infuse the values of safety, ecology and driving performance.

 

Joint Development of Electric Vehicles with Tokyo Electric Power

In September 2005, FHI and Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc. (TEPCO) began joint development of an electric vehicle (EV). The two companies plan to spend approximately one year designing and manufacturing the new EV for commercial use, basing it on the Subaru R1e concept car. While TEPCO will determine the specifications for its business and services, FHI is responsible for developing and manufacturing 10 prototype vehicles. TEPCO will use them as part of its fleet, examine their performance and analyze their economic benefits.

FHI will use the information gathered from this joint effort to continue development of lighter-weight, lower-cost EVs.


Subaru B5-TPH – the Future of Crossover Vehicles

The Subaru B5-TPH concept car embodies the crossover elements of the future in a sport specialty vehicle. These include a crossover between a gasoline engine and electric motor and between a sport wagon and SUV.

The Subaru B5-TPH blends fun-to-drive styling and functionality. The styling emphasizes both elegance and power.


Subaru B5-TPH


The Turbo Parallel Hybrid (TPH) power train is a new AWD hybrid system, combined with advanced, integrated Symmetrical AWD
Exterior design blends the characteristics
of a sport wagon, personal coupe and SUV – accentuating the crossover of design and function
Versatile handling and maneuverability are available both on and off the road with 7.9" ground clearance and 19" wheels
The wide, glass canopy covers open,
sun-filled interior space – highlighting
the balance of functionality and comfort
The coupe wagon was designed around the concept theme of a vehicle for long-weekend getaways for couples of any age
Dimensions
Length: 175.8"
Width: 71.7"
Wheelbase: 105.2"
Ground clearance: 7.9"
Curb weight: 3,052 lb.
Seating capacity: 4
Tires: 245/45R19



The electric motor integrates the critical functions of propelling the wheels, generating electricity and recharging the battery during regenerative braking
2.0-liter, horizontally opposed, four-cylinder, DOHC, Miller-cycle engine with Active Valve Control System offers improved fuel economy
A manganese lithium-ion battery pack powers the motor generator
The thin electric motor generator is placed between the engine and torque converter for the automatic transmission, directly connected to the crankshaft
The control unit includes the Intelligent Power Module (IPM), converter,
motor controller and condenser

Battery Technology

In 2002, FHI partnered with NEC to form NEC Lamilion Energy, Ltd., which is developing high-performance manganese lithium-ion batteries.
(The word Lamilion describes the battery’s basic design and composition: Laminate/Manganese/Lithium/Ion.)


NEC Lamilion Energy (NLE) battery packs combine characteristics desirable for future vehicles:

High power – a high degree of sustainability and instantaneous power output
Flexible mounting – fitting in a space of 100mm (3.9 inches) or less in height
Super-quick charging – 90 percent of full battery capacity after a five-minute charge
Long life/high level of safety – cooling well because packs are flat (different from cylindrical batteries), not affected by overcharging and packaged as one unit (contributing to safety and ease of maintenance)
Low cost


Capacitor Technology

Seeking a power source that integrates both environmental and driving performance, Subaru also is developing the lithium-ion (Li-ion) capacitor. Together, these technologies demonstrate a future of more environmentally friendly vehicles.

Subaru expects the Li-ion capacitor to expand the possibilities for batteries in future vehicles. It drastically enhances energy density while retaining the inherently superior capability of instantaneous charge/discharge and the high durability of regular capacitors. Applying new materials and emerging technology will theoretically double the capacity of today’s capacitors.


The Subaru B5-TPH concept car
was introduced at the 2005
Tokyo Motor Show last October.


Eventually, Li-ion capacitor technology for compact cars could lead to demand for new hybrid buses, trucks and passenger vehicles. This environmentally sustainable technology could become an alternative to conventional lead batteries in the future.

FHI has been developing power storage systems and the application of Li-ion batteries in prototype HEVs, including the Subaru R1e (sold in Japan). Further testing and evaluation are required.

The development of new technologies is a time-consuming process – especially for manufacturers that want to offer proven, reliable and durable product. Subaru is committed to developing power-storage technology as the key to further promote the use of hybrid vehicles, fuel cell vehicles and electric vehicles. The status of future Subaru vehicles is contingent on the results of its continuous testing and development.




Glossary of Environmental Terms

S3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle): As waste material countermeasures, the 3Rs require reductions in the volume of waste through product resource conservation, longer life of products and reduced generation of by-products in production processes (Reduce); reuse of components (Reuse); and recycling of components (Recycle).

ASR (Automobile Shredder Residue): After disposal of fuel, oil and other liquids by end-of-life vehicle dismantlers, the engines, transmission, tires, batteries and other parts are separated, and the remaining bodies and other parts are dispatched to a shredding facility. They are turned into shredder residue after steel and nonferrous metal particles are separated out for recycling. Recycling technology for this residue is now under development.

AT-PZEV: Advanced technology PZEV – meets PZEV requirements and has additional zero-emission characteristics, like operation by natural gas or by hybrid car's batteries.

End-of-life vehicles: Vehicles that are no longer used for transportation, traditionally disposed of by dismantling, destroying, burning or landfill.

Environmental impact: That which, as a result of human activity, affects the environment and is a cause of interference in environmental conservation.

Greenhouse gases: These are gases (CO2 , methane, CFC alternatives and others) that absorb the heat (infrared rays) released by the sun-warmed surface of the earth and cause global warming. Greenhouse gases absorb heat and warm the air, but as their density increases, more heat is absorbed, and the air temperature rises, resulting in global warming.

LEV: Low-emission vehicle. The basic standard for 2004 vehicles in California. (It is stricter than Tier 2, the federal standard for 45 states and the District of Columbia.)

PZEV: Partial zero-emission vehicle – Meets SULEV tailpipe standards, has zero evaporative emissions and a 15-year or 150,000-mile warranty on the PZEV equipment.

Recycling-based society: As an alternative to the existing high-consumption, high-waste society, this is an economic society that aims at the simultaneous achievement of environmental consideration and the pursuit of economic rationally through the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste material, restricting as much as possible the use of new resources and minimizing the volume of emissions.

SULEV: Super-ultra-low-emission vehicle – 90 percent cleaner than the average 2003 automobile.

ULEV: Ultra-low-emission vehicle – 50 percent cleaner than the average new 2003 automobile.

Zero emissions: This aims at building a recycling-based society in which the recycling of waste from industrial and other activities and the prevention of waste generation results in a society with no waste. “Zero emissions” has a variety of meanings, but for Subaru it means activities that result in a zero level of waste material to be disposed of in landfills.

ZEV: Zero-emission vehicle – has no tailpipe emissions and is 98 percent cleaner than the average 2003 car. Includes battery-electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel-cell cars.