SEAT to launch electric car and hybrid

  • Electric Altea XL has 84-mile range and 84mph top speed
  • Leon plug-in hybrid returns up to 166mpg and emits 39g/km
  • Hybrid car set for 2015 launch, electric car for 2016

SEAT has announced that it will be launching an electric version of its Altea XL, as well as a plug-in hybrid version of its Leon hatchback.

Both models will be made available to government institutions in Catalonia and Madrid for use in their vehicle fleets. They will be used for an information-gathering exercise, with the data collected being utilised to help plan, design and mass-produce future electric vehicles.

SEAT says the launch of its first electric plug-in hybrid car, planned for 2015, will be followed a year later by an all-electric vehicle.

The Altea XL Electric Ecomotive will be SEAT's first electric car. It features an electric motor producing 114bhp and 270Nm of torque, and is limited to 84mph. The motor will be powered by batteries located under the rear seats and boot and SEAT claims it will have a range of around 84 miles from a single charge. So far, SEAT has not been able to reveal what the charging time will be from a normal household mains point.

The car also features rooftop cells that recirculate fresh air inside the passenger compartment, reducing the energy needed by the climate control system. It also features brake regeneration with adjustable braking torque to optimise energy use. 

The Leon TwinDrive plug-in hybrid also has an electric motor. It’s mated to a 1.4-litre petrol engine to give a total range of 560 miles. In combined mode (electrical plus combustion) the predicted consumption is 166mpg, and CO2 emissions are claimed to be 39g/km of CO2. Its top speed is 105mph. On battery power alone it can reach a top speed of 74mph, while the batteries reputedly hold enough to charge to allow it to travel 30 miles

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.”