Nov 182011

Seat enters the Plug-in Market

A decade or so ago a company that decided to launch an electric vehicle was considered innovative. After all, there really weren’t that many commercially produced electric cars around as recently as the turn of the millennium. So the fact that Seat is considered to be behind the game with the launch of its own foray into the plug-in market is not only a sign of the progress the Spanish auto producer is making, it’s also an indication of just how far the electric market has come.

Based on the Altea XL MPV

The question is: what can we expect from Seat’s first electric car? Well, the main point is that the car is to be based on the Altea XL MPV, a compact 5-seater compact multi-purpose vehicle which looks sporty and packs in a great deal of luggage space. Expect something that is set to compete alongside other newly announced electric vehicles such as the Renault Kangoo ZE.

First SEAT Electric Car

First SEAT Electric Car

Prototype will be tested at Government

There is still a long way to go before this new entrant into the electric vehicle market finally makes general commercial release. Still in the prototype phase of design, the car is set to undergo real-world testing over the next few months, according to the Spanish car maker. Then once it is fit for road use Seat plans to distribute its first electric vehicle to government offices in the capital Madrid and in Catalonia as part of further testing which will allow data collection on how it’s performing. Of course, the problem with electric vehicles is that they face a whole new set of problems given the problem of recharging and battery life in particular.

Commercial release in 2015

Once the car has passed this stage of the development process then it should be ready for commercial release sometime around 2015. Then the general public can expect a car that reaches a top speed of 84 miles per hour and 114 break horse power, a more than commendable performance for a plug-in car, and this is for an MPV, albeit a compact 5-seater. We don’t know a whole lot more about it at this early stage but expect more details to come out once real testing begins in earnest.

SEAT TwinDrive Ecomotive

SEAT TwinDrive Ecomotive

Leon TwinDrive Hybrid

Not content with producing its first electric car, Seat has also announced a hybrid also due in 2015 as the Spanish car maker looks to give its product range an eco makeover. Known as the Leon TwinDrive, the vehicle will be capable of full electric driving at speeds of up to 75mph for some 32 miles. In other words, it’s going to far outdo the Toyota Prius in the green stakes. Emitting only 39g of CO2 per kilometer, this would mean an impressive 166 miles per gallon on combined cycle.

Every Car Company going Green

Although Seat may not be breaking any ground in terms of the market as a whole given its late to the eco game, the stats look impressive at this early stage. And that’s the other main point. Not only is just about every car company now thinking green, they are also doing eco better than ever.

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