Subaru and Toyota Linking Up for a Real Run at the Sluggish EV Market

Teddy Leung /
Teddy Leung /

Major auto manufacturers like Chevy, Ford, and Mercedes Benz find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place with their electric vehicle (EV) promises. Killing themselves to bend the knee for President Biden’s green initiatives, many have essentially abandoned the very gasoline and diesel-powered platforms that made them so successful.

Yet, foreign-owned powerhouses Subaru and Toyota waited in the rafters. Subaru largely toyed with its fuel-efficient offerings, eventually testing a few all-electric prototypes and then unveiling the Solterra after some work with Toyota. Meanwhile, Toyota focused on hybrids and invested a little in EVs, with its EV model called the bZ4X as its first all-electric option.

Taking their time and slowly dipping just a toe each into the EV waters has made both brands less desirable to the liberals who often flock to their brands. Yet this link-up was first announced by Automotive News. This came when Subaru CEO Atsushi Osaki told the press that the company would be working further with Toyota to minimize market risks. Also, acknowledging a lack of clarity in the market after 2028, it sounds like both brands aren’t willing to risk their livelihood on what looks to be a flash-in-the-pan idea.

Reports from across the globe don’t make the EV market look to be advantageous to investors or car owners anytime soon. Reports of faulty batteries causing fires, failures in cold weather, and programming issues have many customers reluctant to make the change. In turn, plants have been forced to shutter, workforces are being shrunk, and experts have been left scratching their heads.

Linking up on a joint venture like this poses no risks to Subaru or Toyota expanding their lines or deciding to suddenly invest in EVs anytime soon. Instead, it creates cross-company sharing and leads to better innovation at a lower risk of failure. Honestly, this kind of mashup is genius and may be the one thing that allows them to come the likely horrible sales seasons to come.