Aston Martin aims to create a lightweight platform with an 800V battery
While Aston Martin quietly presented the Rapide E sports saloon at the Goodwood Road and Racing in 2019, it basically just converted the 13-year-old nameplate by swapping out its 5.9-liter engine with two motors on each axle and throwing in a 65-kWh battery. That does not qualify as a ‘new’ EV (electric vehicle) model by market standards.
But with fresh funding from the United Kingdom’s Advanced Propulsion Center, the British marque has a £9-million ($11 million) reason to focus solely on the development of that 2025 EV SUV they have been teasing about since June 2023.
“The 23rd round of our collaborative R&D competition coincides with the APC’s 10th anniversary. We’ve seen over £1.4 billion of investment into automotive projects since the APC was set up, and I am proud of the impact that we have made here in the UK. This latest announcement includes a diverse set of OEMs and suppliers that demonstrate the strength of UK automotive. They will further add to our portfolio of innovative projects and continue to drive the UK to deliver on its net zero ambition,” said Ian Constance, APC Chief Executive.
The funding goes straight to the research and development of Aston Martin’s innovative modular battery electric vehicle (BEV) platform so the brand can invest in vehicle light-weighting, a digital toolchain, and electrification training en route to the creation of a luxury BEV platform.
With the government’s assistance, Aston Martin’s Racing. Green. sustainability strategy is revitalized and strengthens the company’s resolve to shift from an internal combustion engine (ICE) to BEV technology over the next five years.
Aston Martin leads a group of six organizations – Manufacturing Technology Centre, Expert Tooling & Automation, Creative Composites, Fuzzy Logic Studio and WMG, and the University of Warwick – the form Project Elevation. It is a collaborative research and development addressing the technical challenges of developing a lightweight, 800V traction battery pack and twin front electric drive unit (EDU) into a modular BEV platform with a bandwidth from supercar to SUV.
“The award of funding from the APC is another major boost to our electrification strategy and constantly strive for innovation. Providing further resources to explore the possibilities of our bespoke BEV platform, will help us achieve our ambition to be an in-house BEV technology leader in the ultra-luxury, high-performance segment. We look forward to progressing this project with our collaborative partners and thank the APC for their incredible support,” said Roberto Fedeli, Group Chief Technology Officer of Aston Martin.
Aside from the EV SUV in 2025, Aston Martin will deliver its first plug-in hybrid (the mid-engine Valhalla supercar) next year, have an electrified powertrain option by 2026, and fully electrify its core range by 2030.