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

Cupra Leon Plug-In Hybrid
Price: N/A
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Estate
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 Estate


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 badge is the high-performance version of the Seat Leon vehicles. 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 and style, but in an environmentally-friendly e-vehicle.

Though automotive manufacturers like Cupra, have been busy upgrading their model portfolios, to include plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), in general, the number of available estate plug-in electric cars, still remains limited. Therefore, the Cupra plug-in electric estate car is certainly worth the consideration for families and companies seeking a spacious vehicle, with an upmarket badge, lower tailpipe emissions and lower motoring costs.

The Cupra electric vehicle (EV) has a 12.8 kWh onboard EV battery, with a WLTP certified zero-emission electric range of up to 32 miles. The real-world pure electric range will be impacted by a number of factors, to include: driving profile, passenger and cargo load, speed, regenerative braking profile, onboard services used, road conditions and weather!

An EV range between 25 miles to 28 miles is more realistic. However, as most daily trips are short commutes, taking advantage of the lower cost of driving on electric mode, is a real advantage of the PHEV, compared to the conventional petrol only variant. Moreover, driving on the electric mode, delivers a smoother drive.

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.

The Cupra electric car does not offer DC charging compatibility. Not surprising, as most PHEVs do not. However, the more recent introduction of plug-in hybrids, in particular, with a larger EV battery size, have started introducing DC charging.

The more regular the use of the electric mode, the higher the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Cupra claims a fuel economy up to 219 mpg for the Leon plug-in hybrid. Expect the real-world fuel economy to be lower, but if the electric mode is leveraged, the efficiency will certainly be higher compared to the conventional petrol Cupra Leon variant, which has a fuel economy between 32.8 – 34.4 mpg.

The Cupra estate PHEV has a striking exterior design, punctuated only by the Cupra copper styling. The interior is both comfortable and high quality. The electric vehicle (EV) is practical for families, except, in that, the boot space has been reduced in the plug-in hybrid variant due to the additional EV hardware. The PHEV estate has a 470 L boot space.

The EV also includes a number of intelligent safety features: emergency assist, rain/ light sensor, exit warning, rear traffic alert, front assist, side assist and the Cupra eCall emergency service. The electric car also includes a 10.25″ digital cockpit and a 10″ touchscreen.

The Cupra Leon plug-in hybrid pairs the 1.4 e-HYBRID petrol engine with an electric motor. In terms of performance, the 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 7.0 seconds. Of course, the EV benefits from instant torque.

The EV has claimed tailpipe emissions up to 29g CO2/km. Again, substantially lower than the emissions of the conventional combustion engine variant. Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet! The electric car is not available in India.


PROS CONS
Attractive, distinctive and stylish Cupra exterior stylingBoot space limited
A high quality interior and comfortable driveCharging limited to 3.6 kW. DC charging not available
Available on all-wheel drive (AWD) optionAn expensive estate PHEV compared to alternatives

Gallery


The Cupra Leon Estate 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:Estate
Engine:Petrol-Electric
Available In India:No

Variants (2 Options)
Leon Estate VZ2 1.4 e-HYBRID
Leon Estate 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

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)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1463
Width (mm):1799
Length (mm):4657
Wheelbase (mm):2681
Turning Circle (m):10.5
Boot Space (L):470

VZ2 1.4 e-HYBRID
EV Battery Capacity:12.8 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):32 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):154.8
Fuel Consumption (MPG):219
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.6 kW (0%-100%: 3 hrs 42 mins)
Top Speed:140 mph
0-62 mph:7.0 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Max Power (PS):245
Torque (Nm):250
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:5
Weight (kg):1642
Colours:10
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

Top Reasons To Buy An Electric Vehicle (EV)


The past few years, in particular, 2020 and 2021, have witnessed a phenomenal increase in the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). Major global economies, to include, the United States and the European Union, have documented a surge in the sales of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). In many of these countries, lower emission to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) now account for up to 15% of annual new vehicle registrations, and in some countries like Norway, even greater than 50%.

This is not a short-term trend. Instead, it is the emergence of a long-term shift towards cleaner forms of travel. Though there are many reasons to own an electric vehicle (EV), we list below some of the key reasons fuelling consumer demand for EVs.

1). Vast choice of electric vehicles

It is true, that in India, the choice of electric vehicles is still restricted, compared to international markets. In India, we have access to only up to 15 electric vehicle models to include the MG ZS EV, Hyundai Kona, Jaguar I-PACE and the Tata Nexon EV. However, in many of the matured international markets, the choice of pure electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric cars are up to 200 models. We expect this to only increase! However, we do hope India will see an increase in the variety and supply of EVs on sale, giving consumers a greater choice.

2). Increased zero-emission range

The emission-free driving range of electric cars have improved significantly in recent years, and the latest models of EVs can achieve well over 200 miles (WLTP), if not over 300 miles (WLTP) on a single charge. In general, EV battery size and efficiency have improved. As an example, the all-electric Kia e-Niro compact SUV has a range of 282 miles. The best-selling pure electric Nissan Leaf has an electric range of 239 miles on a single charge. Of course, the likes of Tesla electric cars have a range well over 300 miles on a single charge!

3). Increased public charging infrastructure

Yes, it is true that the public charging infrastructure in India is at a nascent stage, but in a number of international markets, AC fast charging and DC rapid charging stations are now widespread. As an example, in the UK, there are as many public charging stations as there are petrol pumps! This increase in charging accessibility has driven confidence in consumers who were hesitant to migrate to zero-tailpipe emission electric cars i.e. no more range anxiety! Of course, many homes in the UK also have a dedicated EV charger. For EVs to succeed in India, the deployment of public and home EV charging infrastructure is mandatory.

4). Lower running and maintenance costs

Electric vehicles have far fewer moving parts compared to conventional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The lower number of moving parts has reduced the maintenance burden of EVs, resulting in lower maintenance costs. Electric cars are also cheap to drive. 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!

5). Lower air pollution

However, in our view the greatest benefit of driving electric vehicles, in particular, pure electric vehicles, is the absence of tailpipe emissions. Electric cars do not even have a tailpipe! Zero-emission electric driving has a real and immediate impact on local air quality i.e. reducing air pollution. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have reduced tailpipe pollution compared to traditional petrol and diesel vehicles.




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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