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SEAT expands electric trials with Madrid government

Madrid mayoress Ana Botella meets VW Group's Ramon Paredes for the handoverSEAT has pushed forward its research into electric cars after handing over two fully electric Seat Altea XL Electric Ecomotive models to the Spanish government.

Handed over at Madrid City Hall, the e-Altea XL cars will form part of the authority’s fleet until February 2013 as SEAT tries gather information and make assessments on plug-in technology.

To date, SEAT is the only brand to design, develop and manufacture an electric vehicle in Spain but whether they’ll ever go to market with these EVs remains uncertain.

“We currently have no firm dates on production for our the e-Altea XL and TwinDrive Leon models,” a SEAT spokesman told TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk.

“The electric car market isn’t huge [but] obviously the investment in the tech means we intend to go into production at some stage, but nobody is talking about dates yet.”

Important aspirations

Ramon Paredes, Volkswagen Group’s Vice President for Governmental and Institutional Relations, said: “At SEAT, we feel very proud to be collaborating once more with the city of Madrid in projects whose overarching aim is to improve citizens’ quality of life while increasing the competitiveness of the Spanish economy.”

The Altea XL Electric Ecomotive boasts 135km range (83.8 miles) with a power output of 115 hp (85kW), an engine torque of 270 Nm and a top speed of 135kph (83.8mph).

The EV’s battery is located under the rear seats and the boot, while solar panels help collect energy for the vehicle’s air-conditioning.

Roman Paredes show Madrid's mayoress around the electric Altea XL

Madrid mayoress Ana Botella said that SEAT has been an important company for Spain and hoped that electric vehicles would eventually occupy an equally important place on the roads.

An electric Altea XL was given to Barcelona City Hall back in July along with two Leon plug-in hybrids [link].

Spanish utilities company Endesa, the Catalan Energy Institute (ICAEN), and the Institute for Energy Saving and Diversification (IDEA) have also been included in similar tests.

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John Simpson

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