Toyota reportedly plans to build a new Subaru three-row electric crossover in 2025 at its plant in Kentucky alongside a similar vehicle that will be sold under its core brand.
According to people with knowledge of the plans cited by Automotive News, Toyota will start making the Subaru EV shortly after it begins manufacturing its own version of the three-row electric SUV, which is tentatively called the bZ5X.
The name of Subaru’s three-row electric crossover and other details have not been announced, but the report is consistent with Subaru’s May announcement that it planned four battery-powered crossovers in its lineup by 2026.
Toyota is retooling its 9-million-square-foot Georgetown assembly plant for the two EVs as part of a $461 million investment announced in 2021. The factory currently makes the Camry, Camry Hybrid, RAV4 Hybrid and Lexus ES, as well as four- and six-cylinder engines.
Like the Toyota bZ5X, the Subaru version is expected to source its batteries from the plant that Toyota has under construction in Liberty, North Carolina, which is scheduled to start production in 2025.
Gallery: Toyota bZ Sport Crossover and bZ FlexSpace Concepts
The world’s largest automaker has announced investments totaling $5.9 billion in its nascent North Carolina battery plant, which will have six battery production lines, four for hybrid vehicles and two for electric vehicles.
As a result of the final assembly location and battery sourcing being in North America, both vehicles are likely to qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Currently, neither the Toyota bZ4X nor the Subaru Solterra are eligible for the incentive.
The joint development and production strategy gives Subaru a larger EV while allowing its US assembly plant in Lafayette, Indiana, to run at top speed. The plant builds the ICE-powered Ascent, Outback and Crosstrek crossovers and Legacy sedan.
The strategy reminds of the earlier collaboration between the two Japanese carmakers on launching the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra electric SUVs in 2022. Toyota is assembling both vehicles at a plant in Motomachi near its global headquarters in Aichi, Japan.
Toyota owns about 20 percent of Subaru, which holds a 0.3 percent stake in Toyota. Both companies declined to comment on the report.
Source: Automotive News
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