Fuji Heavy covets plug-in hybrid

Kyodo News

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. is getting ready to launch a plug-in hybrid car by the middle of the next decade, company sources said Sunday.

Fuji Heavy, makers of the Subaru brand, also wants to team up with none other than hybrid-car pioneer Toyota Motor Corp., its top shareholder, in developing the model, which can be recharged using a household power outlet, the sources said.

The move is expected to further deepen cooperation between Fuji Heavy and Toyota in the field of environmentally safe vehicles. Fuji Heavy has announced it will launch an ordinary gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle in 2012 based on Toyota technology.

Toyota and Honda Motor Co. are planning to sell plug-in hybrid cars for general use in 2012, while Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is scheduled to introduce its own plug-in hybrid model by 2013.

Fuji Heavy plans to set the direction for its business in China, including the selection of a joint-venture partner to produce cars there, by the end of this year, the sources added.