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SEAT Altea XL Electric and Leon TwinDrive plug-in hybrid


SEAT has unveiled a prototype electric car, the Altea XL Electric Ecomotive , and a prototype plug-in hybrid, the Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive . However it will be 2015, ie. four years from now, before both are in production.

Over the next few months the Spanish car maker will make both models available 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.

SEAT envisages the launch of its first electric plug-in hybrid car in 2015, to be followed a year later by an all-electric vehicle. SEAT’s strategy is to commit to a wide range of alternative technologies – which is why the company says it is unveiling two different but complementary models at the same time.

The announcement of the launch of the first electric vehicles coincides with the start of the biggest new product offensive SEAT has known; the company will launch four new models over the next 12 months, the first being SEAT’s version of the Volkswagen Up! – the Mii.

SEAT – the number one industrial investor in R&D in Spain – is heading the CENIT VERDE project. This public-private-partnership between manufacturers, universities, research centres and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation is taking a holistic research approach to making the electric vehicle a reality in Spain.

The Altea XL Electric Ecomotive has a powertrain producing 115 hp (85 kW) and 270 Nm of torque. This translates into a limited top speed of 135 kph.

By location of the batteries under the rear seats and the boot, there is no intrusion into the passenger compartment. A regeneration system with adjustable braking torque optimises energy use. And when the electric Altea XL is parked in the sun, rooftop photovoltaic cells recirculate fresh air inside the passenger compartment, reducing the energy needed afterwards by the climate control system.

The new SEAT Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive, in full electric mode, has a range of 52 kilometres, with a top speed of 120 kph. In combined mode (electrical plus combustion) the consumption forecast is only 1.7 litres of fuel and 18.5 kWh per 100 kms, the equivalent of 39 g/km of CO 2 , with a top speed of 170 kph.

SEAT has the largest rooftop photovoltaic facility in Spain, and the biggest of its kind in the European automotive industry.

Next year, with connection of the final stage, will see installed power taken to 10.6 MW – meaning that SEAT’s CO 2 emissions will be reduced by 6,200 tonnes per year.

SEAT Leon Ecomotive road test

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