September 19, 2023

Expert: Indiana strong competitor for Subaru EV plant, could do more to entice workers

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Subaru could choose to manufacture electric vehicles like it's all-wheel drive Solterra at its plant in Lafayette.  - harry_nl/Flickr

Subaru could choose to manufacture electric vehicles like it's all-wheel drive Solterra at its plant in Lafayette.

harry_nl/Flickr

Subaru is considering making electric vehicles at its plant in Lafayette. That’s what the CEO told Reuters and other news outlets that attended a roundtable in Tokyo last week.

Subaru of Indiana is the company’s only auto manufacturing site outside of Japan and produces about half of all Subarus sold in the U.S.

Indiana University professor John Graham said the plant has been a big boost to Indiana’s economy — and manufacturing EVs there would be too.

“The United States is its biggest market for its vehicles. So it's a very, very promising opportunity and would be a big plus for manufacturing in Indiana," he said.

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Graham said Indiana will likely face competition from other right-to-work states like Kentucky.

“You want to put a plant in a state that has a generally pro-business environment that's not heavily regulatory, that doesn't have high taxes, and that has the kind of schools and health care facilities that the employees of that company are going to want to have," he said.

Graham said the latter are two areas Indiana could stand to improve.

READ MORE: EV anxiety drives tension in UAW-automaker contract talks as Indiana prepares for new battery plants

Though there are several plants in the U.S. that build batteries for EVs, Graham said there are few manufacturing facilities in the U.S. right now.

Subaru aims to have EVs make up half of its global sales by 2030. The company declined to comment further on its plans.

Rebecca is our energy and environment reporter. Contact her at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

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