Aston Martin has decided to scale back its RapidE electric vehicle production plans as a result of its investment partner, LeEco, pulling out of the project. That’s according to recent comments made by Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.
The “limited run” mentioned above will include only 155 units, around a third smaller than was originally planned. As a result, the Aston Martin RapidE will probably end up being a fair bit more expensive than it was first assumed it would be.
“We’ve decided to make this car rare, which will obviously tend to push the price higher,” stated Palmer. “Aston Martin now plans to proceed independently, funding further development of RapidE by ourselves.”
Interestingly, the Aston Martin CEO also revealed that as a result of LeEco pulling out of the project, Williams Advanced Engineering, which is heavily involved in Formula One engineering work, will figure more prominently in development.
Reuters provides more: “Palmer agreed to be interviewed after sources told Reuters Aston Martin’s partnership with LeEco had unraveled. … Without LeEco’s backing, the sports carmaker, based in Gaydon, Warwickshire, is pushing ahead as sole investor in the electric car, after paring down production and pushing back the launch date to 2019. The plan won board approval on June 21.
“Aston will start taking orders next month with 10 percent down payments on the RapidE, priced just shy of 200,000 pounds ($255,000) in its home market before incentives. That’s a significant premium on the 150,000 pound entry ticket for its V12 model, whose 5.9-litre engine develops 470 horsepower.”
As noted above, Williams Advanced Engineering will be heavily involved … and is in fact leading a consortium that will develop the production facility to be used for making the RapidE batteries.
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