Seat’s IBE electric coupe concept is not a pipe dream say company sources, because the project is part of a serious national scheme to electrify the Spanish car industry.
The Spanish government’s enthusiasm for electric city cars is partly driven by the fact the country generates over 20 per cent of its energy from renewable resources, particularly wind power, say Seat insiders.
Charging electric city cars when they either parked at the workplace or overnight is seen as an especially efficient way of soaking up inconsistently generated renewable energy, which is not suited to the consistent demand of domestic and industrial users.
However, Seat is also likely to launch a conventional petrol-electric hybrid car. Insiders have confirmed that the next-generation VW Golf platform will be modified in order to accommodate a hybrid drivetrain.
The Seat Leon twin drive hybrid concept car was previewed 12 months ago and the second-generation production version (which also allows the batteries to be topped by from a charging socket) is expected by 2014.
Work is also progressing on the next-generation version of the Seat Exeo, because the Spanish maker intends to stay in the D-segment market. However, Seat sources say there hasn’t been any decision on whether to use the Audi A4 platform again or move to a new architecture.