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i'm #4 on a list of 20 up here in vt. the dealer is receiving 2 prius/mnth so i'm expecting mine maybe end of june @ list price (so i'm told.)
to keep myself entertained i'm reading message boards & counting hybrids during my travel here in vt. i usually see 3 to 4 per day!

I have owned about 8 subarus the past 20 years so i have a little loyalty to the brand, great car in mud, snow & ice! i asked subaru (25% own by gm) about a hybrid. below is what the sent. interesting about talk of fuel cell vehicles!

anyway thought that i would stop being passive with this group & contibute to the great threads that are here!

"Thank you for visiting the Subaru Web site and for your inquiry regarding our hybrid vehicles.

Hybrid vehicle development involves many new technologies and designs. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.(FHI), our manufacturer, is currently developing alternative fuel engines for future environmental measures, focusing on a compact-sized vehicle and aiming to commercialize it within the next few years.

Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd. was among the car manufacturers showing a new hybrid system at the Tokyo Auto Show in October 2003. This hybrid model mates a 100-kilowatt electric motor to a 2.0 liter engine. In January 2004 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Subaru displayed two advanced concept cars: the B9SC hybrid-drive sports roadster and the R1e Urban Electric commuter vehicle. The Subaru R1e is the first experimental pure electric vehicle featuring Lamilion Energy battery that is jointly developed with NEC Corporation. At this time, Subaru does not have any specific plans to bring the R1e to the U.S. Market.

The joint venture company (NEC Lamilion Energy, Ltd.) will advance the development of a manganese lithium-ion type rechargeable battery for automobiles. By integrating NEC's laminate-type manganese lithium-ion cell technology with FHI's battery pack technology, the new company will be prepared to develop the global de facto standard rechargeable battery. NEC Lamilion Energy, Ltd. plans to supply the test battery to all domestic and international automobile manufacturers for industry evaluation. The company expects to prove actual performance ability and to determine the scheme of production within the next three years.

There is a more environmentally significant development over the battery/internal combustion engine hybrid in the long term. GM is making progress toward having fuel cell powered vehicles available in large numbers by the year 2010. In continuation of its history of adopting practical innovations, Subaru and its linkage with GM will be an eager partner in fuel cell vehicle developments.

Subaru has joined a part of the project by NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization) and worked on hybridization of the fuel cell and secondary battery, as well as pointing out concrete problems in loading the fuel cell system. Subaru continues research and development to solve these problems, aiming for the practical application in the future.

While there are no specific dates or schedules available to us now, please be assured that you will be hearing more about Subaru's advanced technology vehicles in the future. If you would like further general information on FHI's efforts to preserve the environment, please go to http://www.fhi.co.jp/english/envi/env_report/main.html.

We appreciate that you took the time to inquire about our vehicles and give us your comments. We hope to continually improve our products and we appreciate your recommendations. If you need any future assistance, you can always contact us through our Web site at http://www.subaru.com.

Best Wishes,

Natalie Cox "
Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer Dealer Services
 

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Welcome, Jim!

And thanks for reprinting the letter from Subaru. Interesting. But no real progress, it seems. Had you not mentioned its source, I would have thought that it could have been written by any marketing wank at Ford, GM, or Daimler-Chrysler.

It's study after study, research project after research project. I'm starting to yawn. I think Toyota and Honda have done it right. Bring a good product to market, and see if there IS a market for the product.

GM, Ford, Daimler, Mitsubishi, BMW, Mazda (those last two are near and dear to my heart), et. al. have been talking hybrid/alternative fuel for decades. All the talk is nice, and promising, and very self-promotional. The lip-service makes people feel all warm and fuzzy inside, as if they were hearing the most wonderful Gospel ever spoken. The car companies then get gushing kudos from the media for "being environmentally aware."

But it's just talk.

In my opinion, Toyota and Honda have proven that the automobile can be evolved. The race is on, and some car companies haven't even shown up at the starting line yet!

Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong!
 
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