Today’s announcement (22 March) of two new EVs is part of a wider plan, called ‘Future Fast Forward’, which was announced at the company’s Annual Press Conference.
Obviously, the big news from the event is the ‘urban electric vehicle’ which will come to market in 2025 and “priced between 20,000-25,000 euros” (£17,000-£21,000). The goal with this as-yet unnamed car is to enter a new segment for the SEAT brand, making electromobility more accessible and forming a big part of SEAT’s push towards a sustainable future.
SEAT has released a sketch of the car’s outline and company President Wayne Griffiths confirmed that the urban EV will have “the dimensions of today’s Arona”. It’ll be based on the MEB-Lite platform which will also underpin the next generation of small cars from not only SEAT but also Volkswagen and Skoda. Its success – and keeping to that ambitious price tag – will very much depend on VW’s ability to develop its EV ecosystem and bring battery prices down. The Group’s aim is to reduce entry-level EV battery packs in price by 50 per cent on current prices through its unified cell design.
SEAT is aiming to lead the development of the urban EV project and produce versions of it for all VW Group brands. In doing so it will bring EV R&D and production to Spain which is one of the main pillars of the Future Fast Forward plan.
Griffiths said: “Our ambition is to produce more than 500,000 urban electric cars per year in Martorell also for the Volkswagen Group but we need a clear commitment by the European Commission. Our plan is to transform our Technical Centre, the only one of its kind in southern Europe and an essential R&D asset for the region.”
SEAT highlights Spain’s responsibility to reach European Green Deal targets by 2030, seeing the creation of an EV ecosystem in the country – which is the second largest car production industry in Europe – as a significant step in the right direction.
The Tavascan, which has been confirmed for 2024, will be CUPRA’s second EV following the CUPRA Born (yes, the ‘El’ has been dropped) which will be launched later this year. First mooted back in 2019, the CUPRA Tavascan will be a dynamic SUV. SEAT S.A. President Wayne Griffiths said: “Our dream will come true: the CUPRA Tavascan will be a reality. Based on the MEB platform of the Volkswagen Group, it will be designed and developed in Barcelona and will reach Europe and overseas markets in 2024.”
In the meantime, SEAT is concentrating in bringing itself back into profitability after a particularly difficult time during the Covid pandemic. To do this, it will increase its PHEV mix throughout its fleet and also has high hopes for the CUPRA Born as a driver of profitability.