Aston Martin took a major step today towards realizing production of its first electric car. The British automaker signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards the creation of a partnership that will develop an electric Rapide based on the RapidE concept car unveiled last year.

The partnership will be with LeEco, part of Chinese technology group Letv, the same group behind American electric car startup Faraday Future. Aston Martin and LeEco have already been in collaboration for some time, though until now the two companies' main focus has been in the area of connectivity and infotainment systems.

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The aim of the new partnership is to develop low-emission technology that can be used in a range of vehicles, not only for Aston Martin but also Faraday Future and LeEco. For Aston Martin, we can expect an electric Rapide and also an electric version of the automaker’s planned SUV.

Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer has previously hinted that the company’s first electric car could come with 800 horsepower and a range of about 200 miles. Since unveiling the RapidE concept last fall, Aston Martin has been working closely with LeEco on production feasibility as well as identifying suitable battery and electric motor technology.

The current aim is to get an electric Rapide on the market in 2018.

“Aston Martin are dedicated to developing a range of cars with low emission technologies,” Palmer said at the signing. “We have been encouraged by the project speed and technical depth shown by Letv in the development of the RapidE concept towards full production."


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