The Cupra Leon Plug-In Hybrid Estate: The Complete Guide For Ireland

The Cupra Leon Estate PHEV Ireland
Price: From € 49,865
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: Estate
Battery size: 12.8 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 58 km
Tailpipe emissions: 30 g (CO2/km)

Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

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The Cupra Leon PHEV Estate

SEAT CUPRA, S.A.U, simply known as CUPRA, is the high performance motorsport subsidiary of SEAT. SEAT S.A. is Spain’s first family car manufacturer. The automotive company was founded in 1950 and is headquartered in Martorell, Spain.

In 1986, SEAT was sold to the German automotive group, Volkswagen A.G. Cupra was previously known as SEAT Sport. The Cupra brand was created in 2018. Cupra has the following portfolio of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery-electric vehicles (BEVs).

The Cupra Leon badge is the high-performance version of the Seat Leon vehicles. The Leon has been sold since 1999, and is now in its fourth generation. The vehicle is built on the Volkswagen Group MQB platform. The Cupra Leon (formerly Seat Leon Cupra) plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), is a good option for those seeking high-performance and style, but in an environmentally-friendly e-vehicle.

Though automotive manufacturers like Cupra, have been busy upgrading their model portfolios, to include plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), in general, the number of available estate plug-in electric cars, still remains limited. Therefore, the Cupra plug-in electric estate car is certainly worth the consideration for families and companies seeking a spacious vehicle, with an upmarket badge, lower tailpipe emissions and lower motoring costs.

The Cupra electric vehicle (EV) has a 12.8 kWh onboard EV battery, with a WLTP certified zero-emission electric range of up to 58 km. The real-world pure electric range will be impacted by a number of factors, to include: driving profile, passenger and cargo load, speed, regenerative braking profile, onboard services used, road conditions and weather!

An EV range between 50 to 53 km is more realistic. However, as most daily trips are short commutes, taking advantage of the lower cost of driving on electric mode (5 – 10 cents per km), is a real advantage of the PHEV, compared to the conventional petrol only variant. Moreover, driving on the electric mode, delivers a smoother drive.

The EV has a 3.6 kW onboard charger, and using a dedicated home EV charging station, can be fully charged in under four hours. Of course, EV owners ‘top-up’ the battery charge on a regular basis. This way, one does not need to wait fours hours for a full charge! Moreover, topping up on a regular basis is also better for the long-term maintenance of the onboard EV battery. Cupra offers a 8 years or 160,000 km warranty.

The Cupra electric car does not offer DC charging compatibility. Not surprising, as most PHEVs do not. However, the more recent introduction of plug-in hybrids, in particular, with a larger EV battery size, have started introducing DC charging.

The more regular the use of the electric mode, the higher the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. Cupra claims a fuel economy up to 1,3 l/100 km for the Leon plug-in hybrid. Expect the real-world fuel economy to be less efficient, but if the electric mode is leveraged, the efficiency will certainly be better compared to the conventional petrol Cupra Leon variant.

The Cupra estate PHEV has a striking exterior design, punctuated only by the Cupra copper styling. The interior is both comfortable and high quality. The electric vehicle (EV) is practical for families, except, in that, the boot space has been reduced in the plug-in hybrid variant due to the additional EV hardware. The PHEV estate has a 470 L boot space.

The EV also includes a number of intelligent safety features: emergency assist, rain/ light sensor, exit warning, rear traffic alert, front assist, side assist and the Cupra eCall emergency service. The electric car also includes a 10.25″ digital cockpit and a 10″ touchscreen.

The Cupra Leon plug-in hybrid pairs the 1.4 e-HYBRID petrol engine with an electric motor. In terms of performance, the PHEV delivers up to 245 PS and 400 Nm torque. The top speed is 225 km/h and the EV can achieve 0-100 km/h in 7.0 seconds. Of course, the EV benefits from instant torque. The electric car is available as a front-wheel drive (FWD) and also an all-wheel drive (AWD). 

The Cupra PHEV tailpipe emissions are low (30g CO2/km). Again, far lower than the conventional internal combustion engine petrol variant (196g CO2/km).

Bottom-line, electric driving is good for the environment and the wallet!

Attractive, distinctive and stylish Cupra exterior stylingBoot space limited
A high quality interior and comfortable driveCharging limited to 3.6 kW. DC charging not available
Available on all-wheel drive (AWD) optionAn expensive estate PHEV compared to alternatives


The Cupra Leon Estate PHEV (credit: Cupra)

At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Vehicle Type:Estate
Available In Ireland:Yes

Variants (1 Option)
Cupra Leon 1.4 TSI eHYBRID 245hp (180 kW) DSG (from € 49,865)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 12.8 kWh
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.6 kW (0%-100%: 3 hrs 42 mins)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:30 g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 160,000 km

Average Cost Of Residential Charging
Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh€ 2.10
Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh€ 2.78
Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh€ 2.87
Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh€ 3.14
Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh€ 3.37
  • Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in Ireland varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for Ireland is 23.97 cents/kWh.
  • Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
  • Note 1: SoC: state of charge

Height (mm):1463
Width (mm):1799
Length (mm):4657
Wheelbase (mm):2681
Turning Circle (m):10.5
Boot Space (L):470

1.4 e-HYBRID
EV Battery Capacity:12.8 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):58 km
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/100km):154.8
Fuel Consumption (l/100 km):1,3
Charging:DC charging not available. Onboard charger 3.6 kW (0%-100%: 3 hrs 42 mins)
Top Speed:225 km/h
0-100 km/h:7 seconds
Drive:Front-wheel drive (FWD)
Max Power (PS):245
Torque (Nm):400
Weight (kg):1,642
NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

History Of Electric Cars: Quick Facts

An electric vehicle (EV), also referred to as a battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is not a new invention or even an invention of modern times. Indeed, EVs were first developed more than a 100 years ago in the 19th century. Inventors from various countries, to include European countries and the United States, were the first to invest in electric motors and batteries. The first practical electric cars were built in the second half of the nineteenth century, with the first US electric car introduced in 1890.
Electric vehicles came into prominence in the early 1900’s, a time when horse-drawn carriages were the primary mode of transportation. Archived black and white photographs from that period show famous avenues like Madison Avenue in New York city filled with horse-drawn carriages. In stark contrast, a similar photograph taken a decade later of Madison Avenue showed not a single horse-drawn carriage. Instead the avenue was filled with motor vehicles, a new invention. It was the beginning of man’s love affair with cars that has lasted more than a century and still going strong. 
However, the uptake of electric vehicles in the early 20th century was short-lived, as gasoline powered vehicles propelled by internal combustion engines (ICE) become the preferred mode of transportation. Bottom-line, manufactures chose internal combustion engines over electric cars in the early 1900s for various reasons, to include, the costs and production volumes.  
It is not definitive as to where EVs were invented or to credit a single inventor. However, one known electric motor (small-scale) was created in 1828 by Anyos Jedlik, a Hungarian inventor, engineer, physicist and Benedictine priest. Hungarians and Slovaks still consider him to be the unsung hero of the electric motor.  
Shortly after, between 1832 and 1839, a Scottish inventor Robert Anderson created a large electric motor to drive a carriage, powered by non-rechargeable primary power cells. Through the 19th century a number of inventors were inspired to develop electric motors to include, Thomas Davenport, an American from Vermont credited with building the first DC electric motor in America (1834). Unlike many of his contemporaries and other trying to build electric motors, Davenport did not have a background in either engineering or physics. In fact, he was a blacksmith. 
Move forward a few decades and at the end of the 19th century, William Morrison created what is believed to be the first practical electric vehicle. Morrison, another American from Des Moines, Iowa, was a chemist who became interested in electricity. He build the first electric vehicle in 1887 in a carriage built by the Des Moines Buggy Co. His first attempt was not a great success. In 1890, he attempted again, with more success. 12 EVs were built using a carriage built by the Shaver Carriage Company.
The batteries were designed and developed by William Morrison. The vehicle had 24 batteries with an output of 112 amperes at 58 volts that took 10 hours to recharge. Available horsepower just under 4 horsepower. The vehicle could accommodate 6 individuals and had a top speed of 14 mph (22.50 km/h).
Morrison’s success led to others also developing large-scale practical electric cars. At the turn of the century cities like New York had 60 electric taxis. The first decade witnessed strong popularity for electric vehicles. However the popularity was short-lived as internal combustion engine (ICE) gasoline powered vehicles replaced the early electric vehicles. Henry Fords success with the then ubiquitous Ford Model T was the ‘beginning of the end’ for electric vehicles. The Model T was cheaper than the prevailing electric cars (US$ 650 Vs US$ 1,750) and could be manufactured at scale.  As they say — the rest is history. 

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Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include, the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising large-scale industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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