SEAT Moves Towards Plug-in Hybrids
By EV Worldwire
Plug-in hybrids are catching on around the world. Need proof? Check out SEAT's León TwinDrive concept car, debuted at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show. Working in collaboration with Volkswagen, the company has developed an electric-drive car with 50 km (31 mi) 'Electric-First'* driving range.
While few details are currently available, SEAT has announced that the car was presented to Miguel Sebastián, Spanish minister for Industry, Tourism and Business and that it is part of a mid-term strategy to conduct research between now and 2014 into "plug-in technology", the ultimate goal being the "phasing-out of the use of the internal combustion engine."
SEAT not only replaced the normal IC engine in the León, but also modified much of the ancillary equipment on the car from the gearbox to the HVAC system. The car's lithium ion batteries are stored in the trunk (boot) of the car and provides up to 35kW of electric power to propel the car up to 100 km/hr (62mph) in electric mode.
Given the fact that VW's Twin Drive use a 2.0L, 90kW (122 hp) turbo-diesel engine, the EcoMotive is likely a parallel hybrid, which suggests that the León Twin Drive will, like the Prius, operate as a blended mode plug-in hybrid where both the engine and electric motor both provide traction power. GM's Chevy Volt operates as a series hybrid in which the IC engine (or fuel cell) powers an electrical generator, but never powers the wheels directly.
To view a five-image slideshow of the León Twin Drive car, click the 35mm icon below.
*"Electric-First" is the service mark of EV World.Com, Inc.
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