Subaru's Electric Microcar Already in the US

Even though the Subaru R1e Concept is just now hitting the streets in Japan, there is already a pair that have made it to US soil. So what should we expect from Subaru's electric vehicle?

The R1e is based on a current production microcar available only overseas. The only real difference is the powerplant. The R1e uses a fully electric system as opposed to the traditional gasoline engine in the production model.

Energy is stored in a Lithium-Ion battery pack directly behind the seats. They will power the car for up to 50 miles on a single charge and propel it to a steady 60 miles per hour. Charge time is 8 hours for a full charge and a mere 15 minutes for an 80% charge when using the quick charge system. It can be charged using an ordinary 115-volt outlet.

Although they won't be released in the US anytime soon, Subaru is loaning 2 of the R1e's to the New York Power Authority. The reason it has been "loaned" is due to a difference of safety standards between Japan and the US. Depending on where you are, you might just get to see a semi-legal car in New York.

Source : Popular Mechanics