Subaru Announces Development of Turbo Parallel Hybrid and Lithium-Ion Capacitor Technologies

-- Company continues 'green' efforts to help safeguard the environment --

Sep 07, 2005, 01:00 ET from Subaru of America, Inc.

    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."
     New Technology
     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
 technology development.
     PZEV Vehicles
     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
      Contact:  Lisa Fleming:       856-488-5093
                Dominick Infante:   856-488-8615

SOURCE Subaru of America, Inc.