Seat Altea XL Electric Ecomotive 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 Altea XL Electric Ecomotive blazes the trail for electromobility in Spain. As with all its vehicles, SEAT guarantees driving pleasure with an engine producing 115 hp (85 kW) and 270 Nm of torque. This translates into a limited top speed of 135 kph. With its roomy passenger compartment and generous boot, the electric Altea XL is equally suitable for family transport or company use.

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

Dr. Matthias Rabe, SEAT S.A. Executive Vice-president for R&D, said: ‘SEAT has its electric future assured. With the electric Altea XL we are showing just how mature our technology is.’

He added: ‘The electric Altea XL was an intentionally studied choice for the first fleet. It will enable us to experiment with a wide variety of uses.’

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 Altea XL Electric Ecomotive Concept