Spanish carmaker Seat, which is part of the Volkswagen Group, tells us it is working on its first electric car designed, developed, and manufactured in Spain. And, as well as unveiling the prototype Altea XL Electric Ecomotive, an electrically-driven zero-emissions car, the Spanish manufacturer also presented the prototype Leon TwinDrive Ecomotive, a plug-in hybrid.
Over the next few months Seat will make available units of both models to governmental institutions in Spain for use in their vehicle fleets. This will provide Seat with valuable feedback information on use of the cars for assessment with a view to mass production of electric vehicles in the medium term.
The company envisages the launch of its first electric plug-in hybrid car in 2015, to be followed a year later by an all-electric car.
Seat’s tells us that their strategy is to commit to a wide range of alternative technologies. To this end the manufacturer is unveiling two different but complementary models at the same time.
Seat’s president James Muir told us: “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 from Seat. The company will be launching four new models onto the marketplace over the forthcoming twelve months. The first will be Seat’s new urban vehicle - the Mii (their version of VE’s up! ), which is expected to go on sale here in Ireland in June 2012.