BARCELONA: SEAT has just announced it is working on its first electric car designed, developed and made in Spain.
As well as unveiling the prototype Altea XL Electric Ecomotive, a totally electrically-driven zero-emissions car, the Spanish manufacturer also presented the prototype Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive, a plug-in hybrid.
Over the next few months, SEAT will make available units of both models to government institutions in Catalonia and Madrid for use in their vehicle fleets.
This will provide SEAT with valuable information on use of the cars for assessment with a view to mass production of electric vehicles in the medium-term.
The company, owned by the diversified Volkswagen Group, envisages the launch of its first electric plug-in hybrid car in 2015, to be followed a year later by an all-electric car.
SEAT’s strategy is to commit to a wide range of alternative technologies.
The announcement of the launch of the first electric vehicles coincides with the start of the biggest new product offensive in SEAT history.
The company will be launching four new models onto the marketplace over the next 12 months. The first will be SEAT’s new urban vehicle – the Mii.
SEAT is also working with other parties such as the Spanish government, universities and research centres to ensure the supportive components for EVs are in place for mass rollout.
The Altea XL Electric Ecomotive has a range of 135km. It has an output of 115hp and 270Nm of torque, giving it a top speed of 135kph. The car is meant for family use or commercial transportation.
Batteries are stored under the rear seats and the boot, and do not intrude into the passenger compartment. A regeneration system with adjustable braking torque optimises energy use.
When the car is parked in the sun, the rooftop photovoltaic cells recirculates fresh air inside the passenger compartment reducing the energy needed afterwards by the climatic system.
Meanwhile, the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive hybrid combines emission-free driving with the range of a traditional internal combustion engine vehicle.
In electric mode, the TwinDrive has a range of 52km with a top speed of 120kph. In combined mode (electrical plus combustion) the consumption forecast is only 1.7 litres of fuel or 18.5 kWh per 100km, the equivalent of 39g/km of CO2, with a top speed of 170kph.
More than 60% of vehicles marketed in Spain by SEAT have emission levels below 130g/km of CO2.
SEAT, based in the town of Martorell near Barcelona, exports 75% of its production to 72 countries.