SEAT Presents First All-Electric Car

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The Spanish brand has designed, developed and manufactured their first electric car in Spain, evolving its Ecomotive line.

In presenting the new Altea XL Electric Ecomotive and plug-in hybrid Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive, SEAT unveils their environmental strategy that encompasses a range of alternative technologies. The two cars revealed demonstrate the automaker's commitment in this regard and 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."

Seat's new EV has a range of 84 miles and an engine producing 115hp and 199lb-ft of torque translating to a limited top speed of 84mph. The battery is smartly stored under the rear seats and boot so there's plenty of room for people and their possessions, and when parked in the sun the rooftop solar-panels keeps the car cool and takes the strain of the climatic system. Executive VP for R&D Dr. Matthias Rabe states: "SEAT has its electric future assured. With the electric Altea XL we are showing just how mature our technology is."

There is nothing particularly enlightening about this; by contrast the all-purpose Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive Concept is a state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid with a 32-mile range and 75mph top speed in electric mode. When combined with the internal combustion engine, the car is capable of a mightily impressive 138mpg, a super-low 39g/km of CO2 and a top speed of 106mph. "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," stated Dr. Rabe.

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In the coming months, SEAT will assess the cars with a view to mass production by making them available to governmental institutions in Madrid and Catalonia for use in their fleets. All being well, the first electric plug-in hybrid will be launched in 2015, followed by an all-electric car a year later. SEAT has a tradition of manufacturing low-emission vehicles and the Ecomotive range, which includes the popular Ibiza Ecomotive, will be broadened with the addition of the Leon, Altea, Altea XL, Alhambra and its new urban car the Mii.

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