Electric Cars: The Basics
For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:
- The History Of Electric Cars and Vehicles
- Different Types Of Electric Cars: A Short Guide
- Electric Cars and Vehicles: Pros, Cons And Myths
- What Is Regenerative Braking In Electric Cars
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The SEAT Leon E-Hybrid PHEV Estate
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.
SEAT offers a range of zero-emission electric mobility products, to include, the SEAT MO eScooter, SEAT MO eKickScooter and four-wheel electric vehicles. The company offers battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The company’s EV portfolio includes:
The SEAT Leon, has been available since 1998. The plug-in hybrid variant has been available since 2009. In 2011, a revised hybrid variant was introduced. The fourth generation Leon was unveiled in 2020. PHEVs are perfect for individuals and families:
- Keen to take a step towards lower emission and environment-friendly driving.
- Need a vehicle for extensive and regular long-distance travelling.
- Have limited access to private or public EV charging stations.
- Do a number of short commutes (30 miles and below) on a regular basis.
- Keen to save money.
It is a widely known fact, in that, the average distance of a trip in the UK is a mere 12 miles. An average vehicle in the UK will travel between 8k and 10k miles per annum i.e. less than 30 miles per day. The newest eco-friendly PHEVs on the market will average between 20 to 30 zero-emission electric miles on a fully-charged EV battery. In most plug-in electric cars the EV battery will be below 15 kWh in capacity.
The SEAT plug-in electric estate has a 12.8 kWh EV battery with a WLTP zero-emission electric range of 36 miles. Depending on driving style, weather condition and the services used in the e-estate, expect a real world range closer to 30 miles. However, that would be more than sufficient for most daily commutes using the EV battery i.e. driving emission-free and also saving money (the running cost per mile of an EV is far lower than a petrol or diesel car). Bottom-line driving on electric miles is both cost efficient and eco-friendly!
Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).
In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.
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!
|At A Glance|
|EV Type:||Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)|
|Engine:||Petrol-Electric (1.4 e-HYBRID DSG)|
|Available In India:||No|
|Variants (4 Options)|
|A practical and familiar family car (value for money)||Limited electric range|
|Cheap to drive on electric range||On board charger limited to 3.6 kW|
|Comfortable drive and performance||Not as refined as the Volvo PHEV estate|
|EV Battery & Emissions|
|EV Battery Type:||Lithium-ion|
|EV Battery Capacity:||Available in one battery size (12.8 kWh)|
|Charging:||Rapid Charging not available. On board charger: 3.6kW AC|
|Charge Port:||Type 2|
|EV Cable Type:||Type 2|
|Tailpipe Emissions:||27g (CO2/km)|
|EV Battery 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)|
- Note 1: SoC: state of charge
|1.4 e-HYBRID DSG|
|EV Battery Capacity:||12.8 kWh|
|Pure Electric Range (WLTP):||36 miles|
|Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):||19.4|
|Fuel Consumption (mpg):||235.4|
|Charging:||Rapid Charging not available. On board charger: 3.6kW AC|
|Top Speed:||137 mph|
|0-62 mph:||7.7 seconds|
|Electric Motor (kW):||N/A|
|Max Power (PS):||204|
|Kerb Weight (kg):||1,373|
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.