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Seat unveils urban mobility concept

Seat has revealed its take on urban mobility as it displayed the all-electric Minimo at the World Mobile Congress in Barcelona yesterday.

The Minimo is classed as a quadricycle, with Seat claiming it fuses the best bits of cars and motorbikes, combining them in one compact package. Purely aimed at city driving, the concept aims to help tackle traffic and pollution problems in heavily populated areas.

It can also park in motorcycle spaces, and two of the cars can fit side-by-side in a standard-sized spot. Also, 16 year olds can get behind the wheel because it’s not technically classed as a ‘car’.

It’s a strict two-seater, and has similar dimensions and looks to Renault’s electric Twizy, which has been on sale since 2012.

One of the most interesting features about the Minimo is when it comes to charging. Rather than waiting several hours to top up the range, the battery that’s packaged underneath the floor can be swapped with a new battery pack with minimal fuss. The electric range of 62 miles does limit its appeal, though.

Battery swapping can help to lower the costs of car-sharing by as much as 50 per cent, and the Minimo won’t have to rely on finding charge points.

The second passenger seat is positioned directly behind the driver, although it can be folded down to leave a cargo space, if needed.

While the current concept is marketed as a driver’s car, the Minimo is said to be ready for future autonomous vehicle developments.

Seat president Luca De Meo said: “The industry is adapting to changes in the way customers view personal transport. With the Minimo, the vision of our first product designed to purpose, Seat is addressing those challenges, combining autonomous driving technologies with electric powertrain systems to create the future of urban-mobility.”

While the Minimo is a concept, Seat has confirmed that a toned-down production version should be on sale by 2021, according to Autocar.

Ted Welford

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February 27, 2019

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