Subaru, the renowned Japanese automaker, has announced a significant shift in its approach to electric vehicles (EVs) by adopting Tesla’s charging port for its future electric cars. This strategic decision aims to leverage Tesla’s extensive charging infrastructure and ensure Subaru’s EVs have access to a vast network of “50,000+” Tesla Superchargers, improving the convenience and accessibility of EV charging for Subaru owners.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Toyota and Lexus, the global automotive giants, also embraced Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS). Given Toyota’s ownership stake in Subaru, it was widely anticipated that Subaru would follow suit, aligning their charging standards to create a more uniform and efficient charging experience for electric vehicle users.
This trend towards standardized charging systems is gaining momentum in the automotive industry, with multiple automakers seeking compatibility with Tesla’s infrastructure to enhance the EV ownership experience.
Subaru, known for its sporty vehicles that have endeared the brand to various customer segments, has been relatively slow to embrace electric vehicles. Currently, only one Subaru electric vehicle, the Toyota-built Solterra crossover, is available in the market. However, Subaru’s latest move suggests they are committed to catching up in the rapidly evolving EV market.
The automaker has recently unveiled ambitious plans to offer eight electric vehicles by 2028 and set an aggressive target for EVs to account for approximately half of its vehicle sales by 2030. This transition, though challenging, is in line with the industry’s push towards sustainable and eco-friendly transportation options.
Tesla’s charging network is one of the most extensive and well-developed in the world. While it primarily caters to Tesla owners, an agreement to adopt Tesla’s charging port standard by other automakers opens the doors to greater collaboration and interoperability in the EV ecosystem. With over 50,000 Superchargers globally, Tesla’s infrastructure presents a compelling advantage for automakers and EV users.
Table 1: Current EV Market Share in South Africa
|EV Market Share (%)
Source: South African Automotive Association (SAAA)
For those Subaru owners who have vehicles equipped with a Combined Charging System (CCS) port, Subaru has confirmed plans to introduce NACS adapters by 2025. This transition is in line with what other automakers are planning as they adapt to the changing landscape of charging standards.
Subaru’s decision to cater to CCS port-equipped vehicles acknowledges the diversity of charging standards currently in use. While NACS is becoming increasingly popular due to its Tesla affiliation, CCS remains a significant charging standard, particularly in Europe.
Table 2: Key Charging Standards
|Extensive global network; High-speed
|Combined Charging System (CCS)
|Widely used in Europe; Supported by many automakers
|North American Charging Standard (NACS)
|Tesla-backed standard; Gaining popularity
Source: Electric Vehicle Charging Standards Association (EVCSA)
Subaru’s shift towards electric vehicles represents a pivotal moment in the automaker’s history. Long associated with rugged all-wheel-drive vehicles and a dedicated customer base, Subaru is now entering the competitive world of EVs.
To understand the significance of Subaru’s decision, let’s take a closer look at their journey into the electric vehicle landscape.
As of now, Subaru’s electric vehicle offerings are limited. The Toyota Solterra, a midsize electric SUV developed in partnership with Toyota, is the only Subaru-branded EV currently available.
Table 3: Subaru’s Current Electric Vehicle Lineup
Source: Subaru Corporation
While Subaru’s foray into the EV market has been cautious, the latest announcement demonstrates their intention to become a prominent player in the industry.
Subaru’s vision for the future is ambitious, with plans to introduce a total of eight electric vehicles by 2028. These upcoming models are expected to span a range of vehicle categories, catering to diverse customer preferences.
Table 4: Subaru’s Planned Electric Vehicle Lineup by 2028
|Target Launch Year
Source: Subaru Corporation
This comprehensive lineup aims to cater to various market segments, aligning with Subaru’s historic commitment to delivering vehicles that appeal to a wide range of drivers.
Subaru’s long-term target is even more ambitious, with a goal for electric vehicles to represent approximately half of its total vehicle sales by 2030. Achieving this objective is a formidable challenge, given the current market landscape and Subaru’s relatively small presence in the EV market.
Table 5: Subaru’s EV Sales Targets
|EV Sales as Percentage of Total Sales
Source: Subaru Corporation
To put this goal into perspective, Subaru’s electric vehicle sales in 2023 accounted for just over 1% of its total U.S. sales. The automaker’s rapid acceleration towards electrification is essential to achieve this 2030 milestone.
Subaru’s commitment to introducing a diverse lineup of electric vehicles is excellent news for South African consumers. As the country embraces the electric vehicle revolution, having a broader range of options allows consumers to select EVs that best fit their lifestyle and preferences.
Subaru’s future electric models, including compact cars, sedans, SUVs, sports cars, and crossovers, cater to a wide spectrum of market segments. This diversity can encourage more South Africans to make the switch to electric vehicles, contributing to a greener and more sustainable future.
The decision to adopt Tesla’s NACS charging standard is another positive development for South African EV owners. While Tesla’s charging network is more established in North America and Europe, this move signifies potential growth in the South African charging infrastructure.
With Subaru’s commitment to introducing NACS adapters for CCS-equipped vehicles, EV owners with different charging standards can expect more convenient and flexible charging options. This adaptability is a significant step towards harmonizing the South African charging network, making EV ownership more accessible and practical.
The South African automotive landscape is becoming increasingly competitive in the electric vehicle sector. With Subaru’s expansion into the electric vehicle market, competition will intensify, spurring innovation and advancements in electric vehicle technology.
Subaru’s renowned commitment to all-wheel-drive systems and safety features is likely to carry over into their electric vehicle offerings. South African consumers can anticipate vehicles that are well-suited to the local terrain and driving conditions, with a strong emphasis on safety and reliability.
Subaru’s decision to adopt Tesla’s charging port standard for its electric vehicles is a significant step in the automaker’s electrification journey. This strategic move enhances the accessibility and convenience of EV charging for Subaru owners while aligning Subaru with global charging standards.