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Seat to launch 260-mile El-Born EV in Q3 2020 | 2019 Geneva Motor Show

6 2020 Seat el-Born

The Seat El-Born concept shown at the Geneva motor show will go into production in the second half next year and is the second car from the Volkswagen Group stable to sit on the new MEB platform.

That decision, according to Seat UK managing director Richard Harrison, shows “confidence” in the brand.

“This cars kicks off the serious generation of electric cars,” he said. “Its 260-mile range overcomes the range anxiety issue and means there is less need for ‘on-the-go’ charging.”

In addition, charge times from 100kW charge points is just 42 minutes, although there are few such facilities in the UK at present. Harrison predicts a significant uplift in these more powerful charge points which will be used for “15 minutes burst of charge”, complementing home- and work-based charging.

“We are also working with dealers on their charging needs which we haven’t done before because the technology for batteries and charges was progressing so rapidly,” he said.

“We are optimistic in our planning for the car because it marks a tipping point where electric becomes viable.”

While Harrison declined to reveal pricing, he added: “We recognise that it needs to be a compelling proposition for consumers and fleets. So we will do what it takes to speed up adoption.”

With the Volkswagen Group platform split between MQB for internal combustion and hybrid and MEB for electric, Harrison said there would not be cross-fertilisation of cars on each.

“We won’t put Leon on to the MEB platform. All the cars on MEB will be full electric,” he said.

“But we will listen to the market and see how quickly the appetite moves from ICE to PHEV to EV, and adapt our model. We have powerful platforms which gives us options.”

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  • Devon Guy - 01/03/2019 13:13

    The race is on to get BEVs into the mainstream and it is great to see the industry rising to the very real challenge of decarbonising our future world. Tesla should be recognised for leading the way and embarrassing the industry into embracing the electric concept. I’m led to believe Tesla released some of the (300m range) technology / knowledge out to the rest of the motor industry, patent free, to prompt the mindset change to more sustainable transportation models. Last year we saw more premium BEV model launches, like the impressive i-pace. The middle of the sector now seems to rising to the challenge with the £35k, 300m range Polestar 2, announced this week. Tesla have just announced the introduction of a £26k entry model “Model 3” and that really will put the cat amongst the pigeons. KIA also announced they are producing a new 280 mile range SOUL. Expect to see some competitive pricing here. Other manufacturers are no doubt racing to get their efforts to market, fearful of risking losing valuable sector domination. This shows an impressive pace of innovation. Now, what is interesting is that all these cars are available THIS YEAR. It feels that SEAT’s announcement of a 260 mile concept, that could be in production NEXT YEAR, seem too little, too late. As an aside, I know VAG’s finances have been challenged generally, as a result of the diesel scandal but I’d not realised our Spanish friends at SEAT would have to resort to using old ALTEA body shells to build this half-hearted concept effort. It certainly feels as if the SEAT development team have been asleep on the job, maybe a better name for the concept would be the SEAT SIESTA …! Perhaps VAG should shortcut the pain and buy up Tesla?

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