Aston Martin’s future holds a number of new electric vehicles – and they’ll be built in-house.
Speaking to media at the Geneva motor show, Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, said the transition from internal combustion to electric power will force the brand to protect intellectual property, and that will begin with in-house electric motors.
“I think we’ll end up buying the cells from somebody like Samsung or LG, I’d like to do the electric motor and inverter technology in house myself,” Palmer said.
“We are making choices and saying I’m happy to buy powertrains, V8s and the like from Daimler, but there’s two technologies I want to keep in house: the V12, that’s essential to our brand, and if we project 10 years into the future it’s electric cars.”
“What I want to do is not outsource that technology but learn that skill and keep it in house. And somehow try and make character out of the electric drive, just like how we made character out of the V12,” Palmer continued.
“The electric motor itself… battery control is the hard bit, normally other startups fall down because they don’t understand mass reduction and aerodynamics. Fortunately they’re things we already know about.”
Above: The Aston Martin DBX concept
Palmer thinks nailing motors and battery technology will be hard, but the most difficult bit will be getting character into electric cars, and developing vehicles that are more than just stop-light drag heroes.
“Getting character into the car is an unknown. Nobody has sorted that out yet. While people can do 0-60 as quick as possible, we don’t want to do that.
“The reason we are building the RapidE and limiting it to 155 customers is that we want them to feed back how they use that car. If you sit in the back of a luxury car, you don’t need it to do 0-60 in two seconds,” said Palmer.
“These customers want a smooth drive and for us to manage the torque curve. Sound is also an interesting part — my presumption is absolute silence, but it’s not easy to block high frequency noise.”
Aston Martin’s new Lagonda brand will be entirely all electric, which is where this technology will primarily come into play.
Would you buy an electric Aston Martin if it had the right ‘character’?