General Motors and Toyota are still years away from launching their own all-electric models but Subaru has beaten them to the punch with the announcement today that its own eco-friendly Stella electric vehicle (EV) is ready for sale. Packed with an array of advanced lithium-ion batteries, the Stella EV will be sold in Japan only from late July and only 170 units will be released in the first year of sale.

The latest model is based around Subaru’s existing Stella minicar and has a range of about 55 miles and top speed has been limited to 62mph. The car’s batteries can be charged up to 80% of its capacity in 15 minutes using a quick charging system, whereas it's also fully rechargeable in eight hours when using a 100V power outlet. A 200V outlet reduces this time to about five hours.

The electric motor of the EV, mounted in the engine bay, generates 60hp (47kW) of maximum power output and peak torque of 125lb-ft (170Nm) is generated at initial launch. The vehicle also recovers inertia energy in deceleration through a regeneration system, which further enhances the energy efficiency and driving range.

Pricing has been set at ¥4,725,000 (approximately $49,000) but the Japanese government will be offering a ¥1,380,000 ($14,308) subsidy through its Next Generation Vehicle Promotion Center program. On top of that, additional tax reductions are also expected due to special measures conducted by Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.