Aston Martin's entire new car lineup will be powered by hybrid electric engines within a decade, and the company's first sports utility vehicle will arrive as soon as 2019.
The British supercar company, famous for its ties with James Bond and cars with large V12 petrol engines, will develop its own hybrid systems, supplementing an engine's power with a battery pack and electric motor. The company also plans for 25% of its sales to be fully electric by the end of the next decade.
Aston Martin's switch to hybrid and fully-electric should come as no surprise, as car manufacturers - even those sold in smaller number at the top of the market - must make battery power a priority before 2040.
This is the year by which the UK and France plan to prohibit the sale of new cars powered solely by an internal combustion engine. Germany has set itself a deadline of 2030, while the Netherlands expects to reach 100% hybrid sales by 2025.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer said: "We will be 100% hybrid by the middle of the 2020s". He added that a quarter of Aston Martins sold will be fully electric "by the end of the next decade."
Addressing the company's plans to develop its own electric and hybrid systems, despite recently partnering with Mercedes for its V8 engines, Palmer said: "You need to keep core technology inside the company. That's why we make our own V12 engines. We believe that EVs [electric vehicles] are a core technology, and therefore we want to do them ourselves."
The FT reports this statement means the company will buy battery cells from third-party manufacturers, but will produce battery packs (made up of multiple cells) and motors itself.
Aston's first hybrid will be a limited run of the firm's four-door Rapide. There will also be a hybrid power unit in the Valkyrie, a multi-million pound hypercar with Formula One performance and designed in partnership with the Red Bull F1 team.
Meanwhile, Aston Martin also has plans to enter the SUV market for the first time, with a luxury high-riding vehicle designed to take on the Bentley Bentayga and Maserati Levante, as well as upcoming SUVs from Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce.
To launch in late 2019, the car, known as the DBX, will initially be powered by V8 and V12 petrol engines, but Palmer has confirmed a hybrid model is also in the works.
Sources : ibtimes
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