Barcelona, Spain – SEAT, a Spanish-based subsidiary of the Volkswagen group, has presented an electrically-driven vehicle prototype to the Spanish government. The vehicle was presented to Miguel Sebastián, Spanish minister for Industry, Tourism and Business.

The vehicle uses an electrically-powered motor with lithium-ion battery for city travel, and an internal combustion engine for longer trips.

“Whereas halfway through the last century we made a decisive contribution on putting a whole generation on wheels, today, 50 years on, we also want to be leading players at the beginning of a process of development and industrialization of this type of car, which combines an electric power unit with an internal combustion engine,” said Francisco García Sanz, member of Volkswagen’s Executive Committee. “Product technology by itself is no guarantee for success. The implication of electricity utility companies as well as the clear support from governments is crucial in order to assure mobility and autonomy for the users.”

The company plans to gradually phase out the use of the internal combustion engine in favour of plug-in hybrid propulsion, with a time frame stretching to 2014. The Twin Drive Ecomotive project, under which the SEAT prototype was produced, is a first step towards a 100 per cent electric vehicle.

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