Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer on Monday gave an update on the progress of the company's first electric car, the Rapide E.
He uploaded a video to Twitter showing a prototype on the move. According to the tweet, it was the first time a prototype for the Rapide E was driven under its own power.
It's certainly eerie seeing Aston Martin's svelte sedan, which normally packs a raucous V-12, moving silently on electric power alone.
A moment of @astonmartin history. First Validation Prototype Aston Martin RapideE moves under its own power for the very first time with its breakthrough 800v battery. Great work from the development team which includes Williams Engineering. pic.twitter.com/b2mRaeCsNP— Andy Palmer (@AndyatAston) 21 January 2019
The car was first previewed as a concept in 2015 and is slated to enter production this year at Aston Martin's new plant in St Athan, Wales.
The car is being developed in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, the Williams Formula 1 team's technology offshoot, and will feature a newly developed 800-volt electrical system. The high voltage makes an 80-percent charge of the battery possible in as little as 15 minutes, assuming a suitable high-speed charging station is used.
Aston Martin last September said to expect a 65-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery capable of delivering a range of 200 miles. The battery will power a pair of electric motors mounted at the rear axle. They should deliver a combined output of more than 600 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque, with Aston Martin expecting performance to be similar to its gas-powered Rapide.
Just 155 examples will be built, each priced at around $250,000. But the car's technology won't go to waste once production is over. Lessons learned from the project will benefit Aston Martin's Lagonda EV sub-brand. Lagonda is planning luxurious SUVs and sedans to challenge Bentley and Rolls-Royce, and the first model will be an SUV due in 2021.