The Cupra Leon Plug-In Hybrid Hatchback: The Complete Guide For India

Cupra Leon Plug-In Hybrid Hatchback
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Hatchback
Battery size: 12.8 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 32 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 29g (CO2/km)


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:


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The Cupra Leon PHEV Hatchback


SEAT CUPRA, S.A.U, simply known as CUPRA, is the high performance motorsport subsidiary of SEAT. SEAT S.A. is Spain’s first family car manufacturer. The automotive company was founded in 1950 and is headquartered in Martorell, Spain.

In 1986, SEAT was sold to the German automotive group, Volkswagen A.G. Cupra was previously known as SEAT Sport. The Cupra brand was created in 2018. Cupra has the following portfolio of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).

The Cupra Leon compact hatchback is the high-performance version of the Seat Leon hatchback. The Leon has been sold since 1999, and is now in its fourth generation. The vehicle is built on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform. The Cupra Leon (formerly Seat Leon Cupra) plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) is a good option for those seeking high-performance, but in an environmentally-friendly electric vehicle (EV).

In the Cupra electric hatchback, the automotive manufacturer has successfully combined a ‘hot hatch’ performance, along with an environmentally-friendly plug-in hybrid engine. The electric vehicle (EV) has a 12.8 kWh onboard EV battery, with a WLTP certified zero-emission electric range up to 32 miles.

The real-world EV range will be lower, impacted by a number of factors, to include: driving profile, speed, passenger load, weather, road condition, wheel size, etc. Assuming a 27 mile emission-free electric range is more realistic. However, that should be just fine for most shorter commutes. Do keep in mind that the average commute is a mere 10 miles. Hardly surprising, given that the majority of our day-to-day trips include going to the grocery store, school-runs, high street, gym, to work etc.

In fact, the more the EV is driven on the pure electric mode, the better is the overall fuel economy of the vehicle. The manufacturer claims that the Cupra PHEV has a fuel economy up to 221.8 mpg. To achieve anywhere close to the claimed MPG, driving the plug-in electric car on EV mode will be imperative. If the PHEV is driven primarily using the petrol engine, the fuel economy will be closer to 40 mpg.

Another advantage of the Cupra PHEV, compared to the conventional petrol variant (172g CO2/km), is the reduced tailpipe emissions from the PHEV (29g CO2/km). Lower the tailpipe emissions, lower the air pollution!

The EV has a 3.6 kW onboard charger, and using a dedicated home EV charging station, can be fully charged in under four hours. Of course, EV owners ‘top-up’ the battery charge on a regular basis. This way, one does not need to wait fours hours for a full charge! Moreover, topping up on a regular basis is also better for the long-term maintenance of the onboard EV battery. Cupra offers a 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty.

Yes, a 3-PIN domestic socket can be used for charging the EV, however, we at e-zoomed discourage the use a domestic socket for charging an EV. It is faster and safer to use a dedicated EV charging station. The EV does not offer DC charging compatibility.

As would be expected from a Cupra badge, the exterior styling does not disappoint. The copper badged plug-in electric hatchback has a distinctive styling, placing it among the best looking electric hatchbacks in the market. The interior is also high quality and more importantly, practical. Adults seated on the rear seats have amply headroom and legroom. However, due to the placement of the EV battery, the boot space is not as large (270 L).

A number of intelligent safety features are available to include: emergency assist, rain/ light sensor, exit warning, rear traffic alert, front assist, side assist and the Cupra eCall emergency service.

The Cupra Leon plug-in hybrid pairs the 1.4 e-HYBRID petrol engine with an electric motor. In terms of performance, the front-wheel drive PHEV delivers up to 245 PS and 250 Nm torque. The top speed is 140 mph, and the EV can achieve 0-62 mph in 6.4 seconds. Of course, the EV benefits from instant torque.

Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet! The Cupra electric car is not available in India.


PROS CONS
Attractive, distinctive and stylish exteriorCharging limited to 3.6 kW. DC charging not available
A good combination of performance and efficiencyBoot space limited
High quality interior, with ample legroom and headroom for rear seatsElectric range limited

The Cupra Leon Hatchback PHEV (credit: Cupra)


One of the key advantages of driving an electric vehicle (EV), is that, it is cheaper to drive, compared to conventional internal combustion engine (ICE), petrol and diesel vehicles. For many years, we have witnessed a significant increase in prices at petrol pumps across India. However, this is not an ‘India’ only trend, but a global trend. We can continue to expect an inflation in global petrol and diesel prices for the foreseeable future.

Both, a pure electric car and a plug-in hybrid electric car, offer significant savings on driving costs per mile, when driven on zero-tailpipe emission electric mode. In India, filling a petrol or diesel car can cost anything between Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. As an example, the very popular Audi Q7 diesel SUV has a fuel capacity of 85 litres. Assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 90, the cost of filling a full tank will be up to Rs 7,650!

In comparison, the all-electric Audi e-tron SUV , which is now available in India, and a similar size to the Audi Q7, can be fully recharged for less than Rs 1,000. Put another way, charging the Audi electric SUV, can save up to 85% compared to filling a full tank of fuel (in India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh).

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant! The sooner you switch to green cars, the sooner you can start saving money. That is simply the bottom-line!


At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Vehicle Type:Hatchback
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In India:No

Variants (2 Options)
Leon Hatch VZ2 1.4 e-HYBRID
Leon Hatch VZ3 1.4 e-HYBRID

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 12.8 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.6 kW (0%-100%: 3 hrs 42 mins)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:29g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Dimensions
Height (mm):1467
Width (mm):1799
Length (mm):4389
Wheelbase (mm):2682
Turning Circle (m):10.5
Boot Space (L):270

Leon Hatch VZ2 1.4 e-HYBRID
EV Battery Capacity:12.8 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):32 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):153.8
Fuel Consumption (MPG):221.8
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.6 kW (0%-100%: 3 hrs 42 mins)
Top Speed:140 mph
0-62 mph:6.4 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Max Power (PS):245
Torque (Nm):250
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Weight (kg):1596
Colours:10
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Electric Car Charging: A Snapshot


Charging an electric vehicle (EV), is really quite as simple as charging your smart mobile phone i.e. plug and play! Both, battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are charged in the same manner. Below is a brief guide to charging an electric car:

  • Just like a conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle is filled with fuel, similarly, an electric car is filled with ‘fuel’, the only difference being that the fuel is electricity and not petrol or diesel. In a petrol or diesel car the fuel is stored in a fuel tank, while in an electric vehicle, like the Tesla Model Y, the electricity is stored in an EV battery, usually a lithium-ion battery.
  • Electric cars can be charged at home or at public charging points. Most EV charging is done at home overnight via a dedicated EV charging station. However, some households still use a 3-PIN domestic plug to charge an EV. We strongly discourage the use of a 3-PIN domestic plug and instead encourage the installation of a high quality home EV charging station, like Webasto or EVBox.
  • Pure electric cars take longer to charge than plug-in hybrid electric cars, as pure EVs have a larger EV battery. In most cases a pure electric car will have an EV battery between 30 kWh and 100 kWh, while a plug-in hybrid electric car will usually have an EV battery between 8 kWh and 15 kWh. Charging an EV at home can take between 3 to 15 hours, depending on the size of the EV battery and the type of charge point or 3-PIN plug engaged for charging. Home charging is AC charging, and in most cases up to 7.4 kW, as most homes, to include, India, are singe-phase.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

  • Public charging, to include workplace charging, is quite similar to home charging, except, the charging stations are faster and sometimes more expensive to charge per kWh. Public charging stations are both AC and DC charging, however, the AC charging is at a much faster rate (22 kW). DC charging, is the fastest way to charge an EV and depending on the EV battery size, DC charging can fully charge an EV battery in less than 40 minutes. In general, plug-in hybrid cars do not use DC charging i.e. DC charging is mostly used by pure electric cars. DC charging stations can range between 50 kW to 300 kW.
  • We always encourage EV owners to carry an EV cable in the car, as not all public charging points are tethered (attached cable). We recommend the use of a 5m EV charging cable, and preferably a high visibility colour. Of course, you can buy high quality EV charging cables and EV charging stations via e-zoomed.



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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