January 24, 2022

2021: the year of the electric impulse

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SEAT
  • The transformation towards sustainable mobility is the automotive industry’s great challenge in the fight against climate change
  • The SEAT S.A. team, made up of more than 15,000 employees, has been driven by this boost in a decisive year
  • The CUPRA Born, the Test Center Energy and the Future: Fast Forward project are examples of the company’s steps forward to lead the way in electrification

Martorell, 16/12/2021. We’re living through a global disruption. The fight against climate change calls for a new paradigm, and this involves facing major challenges like the transformation towards sustainable mobility. There is no plan B, the future is electric and that’s why throughout this year, each of the more than 15,000 employees at SEAT S.A. has been driven by the same impulse, to put their foot down on the electrification accelerator, and thus, to put Spain on electric wheels. Below are the key areas the SEAT S.A. team has been working on.

In line with sustainable mobility. Isabel Morcillo is a Production employee at the Martorell plant. She has been with the company for 16 years and for the past few months has been working on the SEAT Leon e-HYBRID production line, the first hybrid model manufactured in Martorell. “For me it’s a source of great pride” she says. “I’m excited to know that I’m part of a great team that works hard day after day to make the change towards sustainable mobility possible” she explains.

The driver of the new era. Beatriz Matute, head of Project Management for the launch of the CUPRA Born, has spent this year going between Barcelona and Zwickau (Germany). She’s led a team of more than 50 employees from different areas in charge of overseeing the start of series production for the CUPRA Born, CUPRA’s first 100% electric car, in Europe’s largest electric vehicle factory. “It’s been a valuable learning experience that we will certainly build on for the electrification of Martorell” she says.

The CUPRA Born signals the start of CUPRA’s electric offensive and is a key element in the brand’s international expansion. For this reason, “we knew that the International Press Presentation of the CUPRA Born needed to be different” says SEAT S.A. Global Communications Director Cécilia Taieb. “We made it happen thanks to the help and participation of many of our employees” she continues. The first 100% electric car brought together 440 journalists from 27 countries in Barcelona. In total, 62,000 kilometres of testing were carried out over four weeks by the invited media.

The brand’s marketers and top experts around the world have been just as dedicated in preparing to sell the CUPRA Born. More than 1,000 CUPRA Masters from 43 markets took part in the CUPRA Master Convention 2021 to deepen their knowledge and transmit their expertise to customers. Περικλής Πατσαρός (Periklis Patsaros), is a CUPRA Master from Greece. “I took part in this online training course for four weeks to prepare myself to market the first 100% electric CUPRA and to be the driving force of electrification for our customers” he says.

With electric excitement. The IAA International Motor Show in Munich last September was the backdrop for the world premiere of the CUPRA UrbanRebel concept, the CUPRA team’s unconventional challenger. “The concept laid the foundations for our future 100% electric city car, which will arrive in 2025” says CUPRA Director of Strategy, Business Development and Operations Antonino Labate.

Leading the electric competition. CUPRA made motorsport history this year by winning the first ever electric touring car championship. Along with Mattias Ekström, they have been named “Kings of the season” for the PURE ETCR. With the CUPRA e-Racer, a technical feat of 500 kW (680 hp) of power, the brand successfully completed the challenge it set itself in 2017: to create the first electric racing touring car in history, and win.  “The future of racing is electric, and we have already taken the lead” maintains Xavier Serra, head of CUPRA Racing.

A step forward with 1.3 Megawatts of power. The Test Center Energy (TCE) is another of the company’s major commitments to electrification. “We’ve made a great effort to create this pioneering battery research and development centre in Southern Europe, which will enable us to develop the energy systems for electric  and plug-in hybrid vehicles” says Francesc Sabaté, head of the TCE. To give an example of its testing capacity, 1.3 megawatts is equivalent to the energy consumption of 350 homes operating at maximum power.

Electrifying talent. “We’ve always been committed to training, but now the development of talent is the focal point of this great transformation” says Tomás Morgado, head of the electromobility Learning Center (eLC). For this reason, 122 workshops were given this year at this electromobility training centre, with nearly 1,500 training hours for employees from all areas.

Óscar Orellana is an example of this commitment to talent. Just over a year ago, he went from being a production line employee to a programmer at SEAT:CODE, thanks to the company’s ground-breaking training programme. “Electrification and digitalisation go hand in hand and I’m proud to be part of this drive” he says. Case in point: the SEAT:CODE team has developed and is working on the Giravolta platform, which connects fleets of electric vehicles and is present in more than 15 European cities. SEAT:CODE also coordinates various apps for SEAT MÓ.

Expanding 100% electric micromobility. SEAT MÓ, the urban mobility division of SEAT S.A., not only continues to strengthen its presence in Europe, but is also working to begin its overseas expansion in 2022. “We’re contributing to cities with less pollution, less noise and better quality of life” says Jorge Sichaca, Product Referent of SEAT MÓ.

All for one  for electrification. For SEAT S.A., it’s the only way to move towards an electric future. “With the Future: Fast Forward project we are leading the transformation of the automotive industry towards electrification. Our main objective is to ensure the sustainability of the sector in Spain” says Lourdes de la Sota, Director of Corporate Strategy and Institutional Relations. To do it, they are working together with 30 collaborators. All to put Spain on electric wheels.

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