SEAT has supplied the Spanish utility company Endesa with two electric vehicles. The prototypes – an all-electric Altea XL Electric Ecomotive, and a plug-in hybrid Leon TwinDrive – form part of a pilot test scheme underscoring the joint commitment of both companies to promoting electric motoring in Spain as one of the ways to combat climate change.
The Spanish utility company has handed the cars to eight of its employees in Catalonia, who are going to test drive them for a year (until December 2013) as part of the company’s city fleet, with each driver having the vehicle for a period of three months. The two models have been equally distributed between the eight employees selected from the Catalan districts of Baix Llobregat, Maresme, Vallès Occidental and Vallès Oriental.
During the official hand-over ceremony, held in front of the company’s new headquarters in Barcelona, Josep Maria Rovira, Director General of Endesa in Catalonia, highlighted the leadership shown by the two companies in their respective sectors, “as driving forces behind activities related to electric motoring”. He also pointed out that Endesa will be the first company in Spain to include two SEAT electric models in its corporate fleet.
For his part, Ramón Paredes, the Vice-President for Governmental and Institutional Relations for SEAT and the Volkswagen Group in Spain, highlighted the benefits accruing from the partnership with the utility company: He said: “SEAT and Endesa share a common objective of promoting electric vehicles; these tests signify another step towards achieving that objective. Working together will provide us with a professional point of view which will contribute to the better development of our models.”
The agreement falls within the second stage of loan of electric vehicles to companies and institutions. After the first stage – in which Endesa was also involved – when initial acceptance and adaptation of the models was assessed, now SEAT wants to analyse changes in driving habits compared to internal-combustion-powered cars.
During the pilot scheme, as is stipulated in the loan agreement, employees participating in the project have signed off on providing relevant information about their experience in driving the Altea XL Electric Ecomotive and SEAT Leon TwinDrive. With the results from Endesa, together with others from the remaining institutions involved in the second stage of the electric vehicle loan scheme, SEAT will assess the data of use before proceeding to mass production. Additionally, employees test-driving the new cars must cover a minimum number of kilometres per day, as well as have a parking space with recharging facilities at their normal place of residence. Likewise, they also commit to replacing their own vehicle with the electric car.
The agreement also provides for three driving zones – urban, interurban and district –determined on the basis of distance and geographical area. Users driving in the urban area must drive at least 400 km. per month, a figure increasing to 600 km. and a minimum of 900 km. for the interurban and district zones respectively. SEAT will thus be able to assess the range of each vehicle.
Endesa and SEAT are also two promotion partners of the Live platform, a project aimed at encouraging the use of the electric vehicle in Barcelona, thereby making the city an innovation centre for electric motoring. Collaboration between the two companies was also on show at the Smart City Expo congress, held in Barcelona a few weeks ago, in which Endesa participated with three cars loaned by SEAT.
SEAT is the only company in its sector with the capacity to design, develop, manufacture and market cars in Spain. It offers a range of new cars including fuel efficient cars. For more information, please visit the SEAT Facebook page at facebook.com/seatireland.