Aston Martin might be the first luxury brand you would have imagined to embrace electric vehicles, but at the end of June it announced the RapidE — Aston’s first all-electric model.
The RapidE will go into production in 2019 and will involve the Warwickshire manufacture partnering with Williams Advanced Engineering to deliver the vehicle.
It has been two years since the RapidE Concept was unveiled, which signalled Aston Martin’s ambition to branch out into the electric vehicle market.
The new EV represents an important part in the delivery of Aston Martin’s Second Century Plan outlined by Dr Andy Palmer, the company’s president and CEO.
It is set for a limited run of 155 cars and will be delivered as a four-door sports car and will resemble the looks and dynamics of the Rapide S.
The six-litre V12 engine of the Rapide S will of course be replaced by an all-electric powertrain, which will offer instantaneous delivery and the kind of driving experience not enjoyed before in an Aston Martin vehicle.
Of the RapidE, Dr Palmer said:
“Having unveiled the RapidE Concept back in October 2015 we reach another milestone with the confirmation that we are now putting the first all-electric Aston Martin into production.
“RapidE represents a sustainable future in which Aston Martin’s values of seductive style and supreme performance don’t merely co-exist alongside a new zero-emission powertrain, but are enhanced by it.
“The internal combustion engine has been at the heart of Aston Martin for more than a century, and will continue to be for years to come.
“RapidE will showcase Aston Martin’s vision, desire and capability to successfully embrace radical change, delivering a new breed of car that stays true to our ethos and delights our customers.”
Paul McNamara, Technical Director at Williams Advanced Engineering said:
“Williams Advanced Engineering has always endeavoured to work collaboratively with its customers to meet their sustainability challenges and find energy efficient solutions.
“For today’s car manufacturers, this is particularly important as legislation demands more energy efficient vehicles.
“This project with Aston Martin will draw on the extensive battery and EV experience we have accumulated and we are extremely pleased to be supporting this prestigious British company with their future electrification strategy.”
Earlier in the month Volvo also announced that it was going to begin producing electric motors — to be found in every car it manufactures from 2019.
The move comes as the first big manufacturer to produce only electric or hybrid vehicles, which Volvo called an “historic end” to models containing only an internal combustion engine.
Five 100 per cent electric models are to be introduced between 2019 and 2012, with Volvo stating that it was simply reacting to customers who had asked for electric cars.
It will also help the Swedish firm meet legally-binding carbon targets for new cars sold in the EU from 2020.
The EV market is experiencing a significant boom in the UK, with cars sold at a 12 year high, taking a record share of the market.