The first electric Seat model will either be a mid-size hatchback or SUV because it needs to sell in large volumes, according to compnay boss Luca de Meo.
The Volkswagen Group brand, which unveiled a small e-Mii concept last year, will launch its first all-electric model in 2020. Speaking at the Frankfurt motor show, de Meo refused to say the e-Mii model would not go into production, but did confirm that Seat’s first electric cars would be based on the VW Group’s electric MEB platform, and therefore could not be “a micro car or a limousine.”
He added that Seat was currently investigating which bodyshape would be most suitable to achieve the biggest sales.
“If we launch the car in a segment where we can’t do volumes, it is practically impossible,” said de Meo. “It needs volume so we can meet CO2 targets.”
De Meo said Seat is interested in using technologies that can be applied today. He is a big fan of compressed natural gas (CNG), although that fuel is currently not available in the UK. The company currently offers four models with a CNG option. In Italy, the CNG-powered Mii accounts for a third of overall Mii sales.
He added that while he thought diesel engines will continue, there will come a point when the development of them will be comparable with the cost of developing electric batteries and cells.