CHERRY HILL, N.J., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Subaru of America, Inc. today
announced that its parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd. (FHI) is
developing new technology for future more environmentally friendly vehicles:
the Turbo Parallel Hybrid (TPH) and Lithium-ion capacitor (Li-ion). Subaru is
striving to create practical applications for these environmental technologies
in its future products.
In addition to these new developing technologies, Subaru continues to
manufacture and market PZEV (Partial Zero Emission Vehicles) at the Subaru
plant in Lafayette, Ind., that was the first auto assembly plant to ever
achieve zero landfill status and that is actually recognized as a Backyard
Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
"Subaru always has been and will continue to be committed to safeguarding
the natural environment that so many of our customers avidly enjoy," said
Kunio Ishigami, chairman, president and CEO, Subaru of America, Inc. "We will
continue to make these technologies a priority in our product development,
manufacturing and business processes."
The Turbo Parallel Hybrid (TPH) is a revolutionary powertrain system to be
applied to hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) that the company plans to test
launch in the Japanese market in 2007. The TPH is a strategically important
technology for the power source of clean-energy vehicles and will be
incorporated with the Subaru core technologies including the horizontally-
opposed Subaru Boxer Engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive System. FHI has
been developing the TPH in view of its future mass production.
The TPH system places a thin, 10-kW motor generator between a vehicle's
engine and its automatic transmission. The combination of the motor generator
and the turbo-charged Subaru Boxer engine, which adopts the Miller cycle,
creates a system that not only provides power in the mid-speed ranges when the
turbocharger is active, as with conventional turbo models, but it also
delivers excellent acceleration and fuel economy for practical use. This
superb, all-range performance has been enabled by motor assist, a feature that
is designed to boost engine torque at low revolutions.
Compared to the SSHEV (Sequential Series Hybrid) system that FHI had
previously developed, the TPH excels in cost performance as it uses a more
compact motor and a smaller battery. In order to bring out even better
driving performance from the TPH, Subaru is planning to equip the system with
high-performance manganese Lithium-ion batteries, which are currently under
development at NEC Lamillion Energy, Ltd. That company was jointly established
by NEC and FHI in 2002 for the development of secondary batteries.
The Lithium-ion capacitor (Li-ion) is anticipated to broaden the
possibilities for batteries in future automobiles. The Li-ion capacitor
drastically enhances energy density, while retaining the inherently superior
capability of instantaneous charge/discharge and the high durability of
regular capacitors. The Li-ion capacitor's negative electrode uses newly
developed Li-ion occlusive carbon material, while its electrolyte is also made
of Li-ion. The technique called pre-doping enables occlusion of large amount
of Li-ion on the negative electrode in this new capacitor, which helps boost
the capacity of the negative electrode, and increases the electrical potential
difference, thereby making achievement of high voltage possible without
deterioration in positive electrode performance. Furthermore, the principle
of the Li-ion capacitor holds the potential for greater versatility and
increased performance of capacitor occlusion. Many new materials to be used
for high-energy accumulation in capacitors have been tested, and some progress
has been made in that area of research. The application of certain new
materials to the positive electrode, combined with the pre-doping technique of
the Li-ion capacitor, will theoretically double the estimated accumulation
capacity of capacitors available in today's market.
FHI is currently conducting performance tests on prototype cells of the
new Li-ion capacitor. The eventual successful commercialization of Li-ion
capacitors for compact cars would open up many other business opportunities,
including helping to meet the increased demand for new hybrid buses, trucks,
and passenger vehicles. This new capacitor also has the potential to be an
alternative to conventional lead batteries in the future.
Subaru is committed to the development of power storage technologies as
the key to further promote the use of hybrid vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, and
electric vehicles. Consequently, FHI has been concentrating specifically on
the development of power storage systems and the application of NEC Lamillion
Energy-made high-capacity manganese Li-ion batteries on prototype hybrid
vehicles, including the Subaru R1e (sold in Japan), for further testing and
evaluation. This approach has allowed the company to efficiently acquire added
technical value with minimum investment and to solve issues concerning the
practical application and mass production of high-capacity manganese Li-ion
The TPH and Li-ion capacitor development projects are the latest in the
company's power storage technologies, and the practical advances they
represent illustrate the dedication of Subaru to enhance its environmental
Subaru currently manufactures PZEV vehicles in its U.S. plant. PZEV
vehicles meet California's SULEV (Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle) exhaust
emission standard for 15 years/150,000 miles. Additionally, they meet the
zero-evaporative emission standard and have a 15 year/150,000 mile emission
defects and performance warranty. The SULEV standard is 90 percent cleaner
than the average 2003 model year vehicle.
According to the Air Resources Board of the California Environmental
Protection Agency, gasoline vehicles meeting PZEV emissions standards
sometimes even have lower emissions than some hybrid or alternative fuel
vehicles. These vehicles with PZEV emissions rating have such tight pollution
controls, and the burning of fuel is so complete, that in very smoggy urban
areas, exhaust out of the tailpipe can actually be cleaner than the air
outside. In fact, 28 percent of all 2005 model year Subaru vehicles sold in
the state of California met the PZEV requirements.
What separates the Subaru PZEV vehicles from other competitors is that no
sacrifice in performance was made to achieve the emissions rating. In fact,
Subaru makes the most powerful PZEV engine available in the U.S. today.
Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA)
The average household sends more to a landfill than the Subaru
manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana. The Subaru plant is the first auto
assembly plant to achieve zero landfill status - nothing from its
manufacturing efforts goes into a landfill. It's all reused and recycled.
Subaru was also the first auto assembly plant in the U.S. to be smoke free
in 1994. In 1998 it was the first auto assembly plant in the U.S. to be ISO
14001 Certified. In 2002, it became the first auto assembly plant in the U.S.
with an on-site solvent recovery system that produces dry still bottoms. And
last year, the plant became the first auto assembly plant to dry paint and
wastewater sludge on-site.
The Subaru plant was determined to be the first auto assembly plant in the
U.S. to be designated a Backyard Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife
Federation in 2003. Deer, coyotes, beavers, blue herons, Canadian geese,
rabbits, squirrels, meadowlarks, ducks and other animals live on the plant
property in peaceful coexistence with the Subaru plant.
About Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy
Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company
markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and
accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States.
Subaru makes the best-selling All-Wheel Drive car sold in America based on
R.L. Polk & Co. new vehicle retail registration statistics calendar year-end
2004. For more information visit http://www.subaru.com.
Contact: Lisa Fleming: 856-488-5093
Dominick Infante: 856-488-8615
SOURCE Subaru of America, Inc.