We usually get our news about electric cars from manufacturer press releases and automotive magazines. This one is more like a TMZ report straight out of Tinsel Town via The Guardian. The 25th James Bond movie is set to begin filming in April and the news is that 007 — who likes his martinis shaken, not stirred, and his cars stirring, not staid — will drive an Aston Martin Rapide E this time around.
Bond, of course, has piloted a succession of exhilarating vehicles during his long career of fighting villains of all stripes, from the iconic silver Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger to the amphibious white Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me.
According to the company, the Rapide E is its first attempt at creating an all electric four-door sedan worthy of the Aston Martin name. For a while, it planned to jointly develop the car in partnership with the ill fated LeEco electric car startup founded by the mercurial Jia Yueting. Remember him? If not, you’re not alone.
According to an elaborate press release last September, the company said it had transitioned to a partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, the offshoot of the famed Williams Formula One team that has played a prominent role in developing technology for Formula E. It says only 155 copies of the Rapide E will be produced and they will be sold for the princely sum of €250,000 each. If is expected to have a WLTP range of 200 miles.
“Rapide E will be powered by an 800V battery electrical architecture with 65kWh installed capacity using over 5600 lithium ion 18650 format cylindrical cells. These are mounted in a bespoke battery pack where the original 6.0-litre V12, its gearbox and fuel tank were located. This battery system powers two rear mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque.”
According to The Sun, director Cary Joji Fukunaga has spearheaded the change, with its source describing him as “a total tree-hugger.” The unnamed source adds, “This is something Cary pushed for and Daniel and the producers are going along with. Everybody is afraid of Bond getting labelled ‘too PC’ but they all felt the time was right to put him in a zero-emission vehicle.”
The rights to the 007 legend created by Ian Fleming are now controlled by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson. The Hollywood gossip says that original director Danny Boyle and his long time screenwriter John Hodge had irreconcilable differences with the producers and are no longer associated with the project. The reports suggest Boyle and Hodge wanted to update the James Bond narrative with allusions to the #MeToo movement and suggestions of his ultimate demise but were rebuffed.
Rami Malek, who won an Oscar last month for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, is reported to be in final negotiations to play the role of Bond’s latest nemesis. The movie has not yet been given a final title at this juncture. It is expected to be released in April of 2020.
It is encouraging for those of us who advocate for electric cars that one will co-star in the next James Bond film. It will be interesting to see if he stops to plug it in at the nearest 800 volt ultrafast charger as he goes about his business of ridding the world of dangerous villains while “holding up the British end.” That last bit is part of 007 lore and if you know what movie it’s from, you could win a free lifetime subscription to CleanTechnnica. Good luck!