Seat's electrically-driven prototype
The Seat project is an electrically-powered León Twin Drive Ecomotive vehicle equipped with a lithium-ion battery for urban circuits, connected to an internal combustion engine for interurban trips, with optimum consumption level. The plan, with a time-scale stretching to 2014, is designed to carry out research, within the field of plug-in hybrid propulsion, into the gradual phasing-out of the use of the internal combustion engine so as to launch onto the market SEAT models with very low consumption and environmentally-friendly CO2 emission levels.
The Spanish brand’s first electrically-driven car prototype is based on a León in which the traditional combustion engine has been replaced by an electric one. Likewise, certain elements such as the gearbox, power braking, heating and cooling systems, and a substantial part of the electronics have also been modified. The engine is fed by a group of lithium-ion batteries located at the rear of the vehicle, providing sustainable power of 35 kW and a self-imposed top speed of 100 kph.
This prototype will allow the Spanish brand’s engineers to carry out research into the specific features of electrical propulsion and above all how to improve on one of its main drawbacks – quick battery recharging and range, which, in the case of the current vehicle, is 50 kms.
The Twin Drive Ecomotive project is a first step towards a 100% electric car, and consists of the development of a hybrid vehicle combining the well-tested efficiency of SEAT’s Ecomotive cars with the advantages offered by electrical propulsion.
Thus, a drastic reduction of CO2 emissions will be achieved, combined with noteworthy performance and range. With its Ecomotive range, SEAT already offers its clients the Ibiza Ecomotive with emissions of 98g/km of CO2, the León Ecomotive (119 g/km), and the Alhambra Ecomotive (159 g/km). For the record, two of the models, the Ibiza and the Alhambra, are the vehicles have the lowest emission levels for their respective segments. ■