Luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin has this week announced a new partnership for the development of electric cars.
The company will partner with LeEco, a Chinese technology giant formerly known as LeTV, who is the primary investor in electric vehicle startup Faraday Future.
The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) towards the creation a new concept electric vehicle called the Aston Martin RapidE.
Last year Aston Martin announced the RapidE as a high end, luxury electric car sporting an 800-hp engine and a 200-mile (322km) range.
Described as a “next generation connected vehicle”, the RapidE concept will eventually lead to the development of a new line of vehicles which will reach the market in 2018.
“Aston Martin are dedicated to developing a range of cars with low emission technologies. [..] Bringing the RapidE to market by 2018 is an important milestone for both companies,” said Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer.
LeEco had previously signed deals with Aston Martin (as LeTV) to produced internet systems for their vehicles, however according to their new announcement, the two companies will now increase their collaboration in the field of ‘low emissions vehicle technologies’ as part of LeEco’s Super Electric Ecosystem (SEE) Plan.
“LeEco’s SEE Plan is dedicated to build electric, smart, connected and socialized cars. […] We hope that, by strengthening collaborations with Aston Martin, our future models will provide premium qualities,” said Mr. Ding Lei, co-founder and global vice chairman of the SEE Plan at LeEco.
Technology jointly developed between these two companies will also likely be shared with Faraday Future, however the depth of their involvement in this collaboration is currently unclear.
Luxury Electric Vehicles
At the beginning of the year Faraday Future announced its own luxury electric vehicle concept car called the FFZero1.
Aside from Aston Martin and Faraday Future, many other luxury brands are moving into the high-end EV market opened up by Tesla.
Such companies including BMW and Bugatti see the space a prime market to test expensive and emerging technologies before refining them for mass market.