SEAT has announced details of a plug-in electric prototype based on the company’s Leon hatchback.
A result of the four-year Cenit Verde (Green Zenith) research project, which was carried out with Spain’s Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness with the aim of introducing an electric vehicle in Spain, the Leon Verde is propelled by a 75 kW (101 hp) electric motor along with a 90 kW (121 hp) 1.4 TSI petrol engine mated to a 6-speed transmission adapted for hybrid driving.
When the 8.8 kWh battery is fully charged an electric-only range of 50 kilometres is possible, but with the car’s 40-litre tank topped up that figure rises to 816 km (507 miles). On the road, the combined fuel consumption works out at a mere 1.6l/100 km (176.6 mpg) with CO2 emissions of just 36 g/km.
As with Audi’s A1 e-tron, the Leon’s systems communicate with a smartphone app that allows the owners to manage such functions as battery status and energy consumption, along with reserve management for recharges. There’s also a Driving Cycle Predictor, which analyses and memorises the driving styles and routines of the driver before utilizing the information to optimize energy consumption.
Finally, an innovative two-way charging system intelligently linked to the electricity grid means that the Leon can establish when the grid is experiencing low demand, and charge the car during those times only, using a lower tariff. The vehicle can also feed electricity back into the grid.