Until recently, there have been two types of car owners: the ones who want an eco-friendly vehicle, and the ones who want a luxurious car with no regard to the environment. English luxury car maker Aston Martin, a company made famous for being James Bond’s car of choice in 1964’s Goldfinger, announced that it will begin designing and manufacturing hybrid vehicles. Not only that, but the company plans on making 100% of its lineup meet hybrid standards within the next ten years.
When speaking to Financial Times, Aston Martin CEO, Andy Palmer, said the company’s arsenal of vehicles “will be 100 percent hybrid by the middle of the 2020s.” The website also notes that 25% of the company’s vehicles will be electric by 2030. Talk about a major overhaul.
Why having hybrid luxury cars matters
The hybrid car concept has been around for quite some time. Companies that make more affordable vehicles like Ford, Chevrolet, and Nissan, have adopted the hybrid standard for many of their models.
Hybrids have been proven over and over to be much less destructive to our atmosphere and air quality, and they are much cheaper on gas as well. These vehicles offer lower CO2 emissions due to their ability to travel for periods of time on only battery power, and the emissions they do release are only a very small fraction of the amount you would get from a car or truck running on diesel fuel.
By stepping up to the plate, Aston Martin is showing consumers, and other companies as well, that the idea of hybrid vehicles does not stop at the doorstep of manufacturers who are known for designing and selling cheaper vehicles. Instead, by offering the same in a more expensive car, the company is tapping into a whole new market. While this is a huge step forward, it’s still bit surprising that the maker that brought us beauties like the Rapide and Vantage – both of which are ideal for any rich man going through his mid-life crisis – plans to do an overhaul on such a grand scale.
Is Aston Martin just the beginning?
There hasn’t been any word yet on a hybrid Ferrari, Maserati, or even Lotus model, but we’ll wait patiently. The manufacturer is planning some far-out concepts for their plan of action, though, which may get the attention of some of the other high-end brands.
The company is planning to do all of this in-house. According to the same report from Financial Times:
Rather than buying in electric systems from technology partner Daimler, which currently supplies its V8 engine and some of the electronics, Aston plans to develop its electric driving systems in-house.
“You need to keep core technology inside the company,” said Mr Palmer. “That’s why we make our own V12 engine. We believe that EVs [electric vehicles] are a core technology, and therefore we want to do them ourselves.”
Aston Martin also plans to purchase and ship in electric cells from overseas, but maintains that it will make the packs and motors at home in the UK.
The company also claims that the first hybrid model we will see on the streets is the electric Rapide. I’ll start saving up now.