SEAT announces first ever all-electric model

The Spanish car manufacturer SEAT has announced its first ever electric vehicle, the Mii Electric, heralding the company’s arrival to the global electric vehicle market.

The all-electric city car will replace the combustion engine Mii once production of that vehicle ends this July, with pre-sales for the Mii Electric to start this September, the company announced.

The vehicle, which will have a 260km range on a single charge, will be one of the most affordable EVs on the European market, combining the purchase cost of a combustion engine vehicle with the low costs of ownership associated with battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the firm said.

‘The market is changing, and electrification is expanding at an unprecedented rate,’ said Luca de Meo, president of SEAT. ‘In Europe, the electric vehicle market grew by 46% in the first 4 months of the year, [and] moving forward we expect electrified vehicles to play an important role within our range.’

‘The Mii electric is the start of that journey, and at the same time brings to the market an affordable electric car.’

SEAT’s new all-electric vehicle the Mii Electric. Credit: SEAT

The Mii Electric will also be the first SEAT model to include SEAT Connect, a service which allows remote access and management of the vehicle via a smartphone app, SEAT said.

Aspects of the car customers will be able to review remotely will include driving data, parking position and its air conditioning.

The vehicle will be aimed at both private customers and fleets who spend most of their time in cities and suburbs and see the benefit of low emissions, the firm added.

‘The SEAT Mii electric combines every attribute customers expect from the brand: fun to drive, performance and acceleration, but sprinkles added qualities on top: silence, low cost of ownership and even greater levels of connectivity,’ said Axel Andorff, SEAT’s executive vice-president for research & development.

SEAT added that the Mii Electric will lay the groundwork for further EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) to be added to its roster soon, including the all-electric SEAT el-Born, and plug-in hybrid versions of its Tarraco, Leon, CUPRA Formentor and CUPRA Leon models.

SEAT is a subsidiary of the German-owned Volkswagen, which has ramped up its EV development after being part of the 2015 ‘Dieselgate’ emissions scandal.

Volkswagen recently announced its intention to launch almost 70 electric models and build a total of 22 million electric cars in the next ten years.

Earlier this week, Brussels-based campaign group Transport & Environment (T&E) found that only 25% of the most polluting diesel cars identified during Dieselgate have been recalled across the EU since 2015.

The campaign group said that it could take up to two years to recall all 43 million cars identified during the scandal at the current rate.