Seat Leon TwinDrive Concept

SEAT is working on its first electric car designed, developed and manufactured in Spain. The firm is unveiled the prototype Altea XL Electric Ecomotive, a totally electrically-driven zero-emissions car, as well as the prototype Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive, a plug-in hybrid.

Over the next few months the Spanish car maker 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.

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.  To this end the Spanish manufacturer is unveiling two different but complementary models at the same time.

SEAT President James Muir said: ‘Customers demand a more sustainable form of mobility, but their needs are diverse. Therefore, we believe that a parallel strategy of developing two different technologies will put SEAT in the best position to meet their needs.’

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 smart new urban vehicle – the Mii.

The future of electromobility in Spain depends not only on vehicles but also their components such as batteries, as well as a recharging infrastructure. For this reason 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 centers and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation is taking a holistic research approach to making the electric vehicle a reality in Spain.

The new SEAT Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive is a ground-breaking concept in the field of plug-in hybrids, combining the advantage of emission-free driving with the range of a traditional internal combustion engine-equipped vehicle.

In full electric mode the TwinDrive has a range of 52 kilometers, with a top speed of 120 kph. In combined mode (electrical plus combustion) the consumption forecast is only 1.7 liters of fuel and 18.5 kWh per 100 kms, the equivalent of a rock-bottom 39 g/km of CO2, with a top speed of 170 kph. 

Dr. Rabe said: ‘The Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive is an exciting and ground-breaking solution. Technically, it allows you to drive in all-electric mode, while at the same time enjoying smart hybrid drive. 

‘Thanks to its great range, none of our customers will need to change their lifestyle or transport habits.’

Of course, the Altea XL Electric Ecomotive and Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive do not constitute SEAT’s first venture into the field of sustainable mobility and commitment to environmental protection. The Spanish brand has a long track record in the manufacture of low-emission vehicles. More than 60% of vehicles marketed by SEAT in Spain and almost half (47%) of all SEATs sold in the UK this year have emission levels below 130 g/km of CO2.  

SEAT has extended its environmental commitment to its car-manufacturing processes, furthering different projects with a single aim – to reduce CO2 emissions and make a more sustainable and efficient use of energy resources. By way of example, one innovation at SEAT has been the implementation of EuroEnergest, an energy consumption monitoring system enabling more efficient energy use and savings of 3,900 tones of CO2 per year. 

Its strategic approach to environmental protection has earned SEAT several plaudits. One of the most recent was the first-ever awarding of the ISO 50.001 standard in energy efficiency to a Spanish company.  

Arguably, though, the most impressive project in SEAT’s maturing environmental strategy is ‘SEAT in the Sun’: the largest rooftop photovoltaic facility in Spain, and the biggest of its kind in the European automotive industry. Equally innovative was the decision to install the photovoltaic cells on the temporary holding areas for vehicle protection. Capacity has doubled from four to eight megawatts over the past few weeks thanks to the start-up of a new stage.

Source: Seat press

Gallery: Seat Leon TwinDrive Concept