Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire (PRWEB UK) 14 June 2013
SEAT has showcased a brand new plug-in hybrid prototype based on the new Leon, at the official closing event of the pioneering Cenit Verde research project.
Called the SEAT Leon Verde, the prototype is the culmination of a four-year research project designed to facilitate the market introduction of electric cars in Spain.
More than 800 professionals from 16 private companies and 14 public bodies in SEAT's home country joined forces for Cenit Verde, which was established to develop sustainable alternatives for automotive energy and infrastructure.
Cenit Verde, which translates as Green Zenith, was headed by SEAT's Technical Centre in Martorell with the support of Spain's Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. With an overall budget of €34m, it has become a benchmark project in Europe by virtue of being one of the first Public-Private Partnerships, and in recognition of the breadth of its research.
Aside from the development of the Leon-based plug-in hybrid prototype car, the Cenit Verde project saw the development of an innovative smart car charging system. The system can automatically establish when the electricity grid is experiencing low demand, and can charge the car during those times only using a lower tariff, saving the consumer money and reducing strain on the energy grid.
The SEAT Leon Verde is powered by a 1.4-litre TSI petrol engine with 122 PS linked to a 102 PS electric motor, for a combined maximum output of 170 PS, its electric-only driving range on a full charge is 31 miles. With a full battery and its 40-litre petrol tank full, its total range is 507 miles which equates to a phenomenal combined fuel consumption figure of 176.6 mpg and just 36 g/km CO2 emissions*.
The Leon Verde is also equipped with an advanced human-machine interface (HMI) integrated into a smartphone app. This enables the driver to connect to the car via a wireless network with their smartphone to manage functions such as energy consumption, battery status, recharge management (see below), and estimated CO2 savings in electric mode; two patents were applied for during the creation of the HMI alone.
In addition, the project has enabled development of a Driving Cycle Predictor, which analyses and memorises the routines and driving style of the driver, using this information to optimise energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. SEAT has taken out a patent for this technology, too.
The holistic approach to electric vehicle development undertaken by the Cenit Verde project resulted not only in an entirely new electric vehicle, but an entirely new approach to charging infrastructure as well.
The system detects the time when overall energy consumption is low on the grid and charges during these times. If the car is left plugged into a power source the system will only charge the car at times when it detects the overall demand has dropped, using a recharge manager. Alternatively, a standard quick charge function is also available.
The Leon Verde is a car that gives to the grid as well as taking from it. Via a Lear 20 kW on-board charger, the Leon Verde allows for two-way connection to the grid, allowing it to feed in electricity.
The SEAT Leon Verde prototype is a research and development vehicle, and the result of the collaborative Cenit Verde research project. There are no plans to put the green car into series production.
Notes to Editors:
*Forecasted NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) figures
SEAT is a Spanish motor company and member of the Volkswagen Group. It employs more than 14,000 people worldwide and offers a broad range of cars: Mii, Ibiza, Ibiza SC, Ibiza ST, Toledo, Leon, Leon SC, Altea, Altea XL, and Alhambra. Each combines the best German engineering with a distinct Spanish design theme, imbuing every one with a unique character.
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