Aston Martin adds touch of luxury to EV market with ‘RapidE’ concept

Luxury sportscar manufacturer Aston Martin is set roll-out a new electric vehicle (EV) concept that incorporates smart technology with low-emitting battery and powertrain capabilities.

The Warwickshire-based carmaker has announced the creation of a partnership with a leading eco-technology company LeEco, which will aid the development and manufacturing stages of the new ‘RapidE’ electric vehicle, which is set to enter the market by 2018.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed yesterday (17 February) between the Aston Martin and LeEco, builds on an existing collaboration between the two firms that aims to accelerate the development of low-emission vehicle technologies.

The RapidE car will be the first model developed through this partnership. The concept will incorporate the latest Internet of the Vehicle (IOV) system from Chinese firm Letv and LeEco will now work on advancing the battery and powertrain solutions.

‘Important milestone’

Aston Martin chief executive Andy Palmer said: “Aston Martin is dedicated to developing a range of cars with low emission technologies.

“We have been encouraged by the project speed and technical depth shown by Letv in the development of the RapidE concept towards full production. Bringing the RapidE to market by 2018 is an important milestone for both companies. ”

A further range of next-generation and IOV-connected EVs have already been mooted for Aston Martin, LeEco and the relatively enigmatic Faraday Future.

Ding Lei from LeEco said: “We have been targeting the highest standard in the auto industry in terms of design, R&D and manufacturing of our electric cars.

“We hope that, by strengthening collaborations with Aston Martin, our future models will provide premium qualities and delicate arts and crafts as good as those of Aston Martin.”

Quantum of solar

Aston Martin, which is famed for its appearance in James Bond films, had previously renewed a research collaboration with solar giant Hanergy in a bid to develop the world’s first solar-powered car for the general public.

That partnership will continue to develop the capabilities of the thin-film solar panels affixed to an Aston Martin GTE racing-car roof.

Matt Mace

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