Yet that reliance can carry unforeseen costs: Subaru’s launch this year of its first electric vehicle, the Toyota-built Solterra, has been suspended before the first U.S. delivery after Toyota issued a recall and stop-sale for its sister vehicle, the 2023 Toyota bZ4X, over concerns that the wheels could come off.
In fact, the road to electrification has not been easy for any of the smaller Japanese automakers. Mitsubishi helped pioneer the EV market more than a decade ago with the now-discontinued i-MiEV minicar, but now it isn’t expected to launch another EV in the U.S. until mid-decade. Meanwhile, Mazda’s single EV entry, the MX-30, which it will sell in very limited numbers in California only, offers just 100 miles of range. The automaker’s remaining EV plans remain murky.