2/18/2016

Aston Martin to Partner with China’s LeEco on New EV

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Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding with the automotive arm of Chinese consumer electronics giant LeEco (formerly LeTV) to launch a production version of the British carmaker's RapidE concept electric vehicle by 2018.

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Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. has signed a memorandum of understanding with the automotive arm of Chinese consumer electronics giant LeEco (formerly LeTV) to launch a production version of the British carmaker's RapidE concept electric vehicle by 2018.

The partners, which already work together on in-vehicle entertainment systems, aim to eventually launch a series of EVs for both brands as well with LeEco's Faraday Future Inc. affiliate. Billionaire Jia Yueting founded LeTV and is one of the principal backers of Gardena, Calif.-based Faraday, which plans to launch its own EV supercar in the next few years.

Aston Martin unveiled the RapidE concept, which is based on its conventionally powered Rapide S sports sedan, last October. The 800-hp concept has an estimated driving range of 200 miles.

The carmaker expects the performance of the new EV to at least equal that of the Rapide S, which has a 0-60 mph time of less than 4.3 seconds and a top speed of more than 200 mph. The company currently is refining the RapidE's battery and electric drive system.