Having signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Telv in October 2015, Aston Martin may produce electric cars for the Chinese company in future.
The agreement stated that the two companies would work together on “research projects ranging from connected car technologies through to manufacturing consultation on new electric vehicles”. The first combined project could be the Aston Martin Rapide S ‘connected car’ concept that will be unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which is the annual global electronics and consumer technology show starting on 4th January in Las Vegas.
Founded in 2004 by Jiu Yueting, who is worth over $6 billion now, Letv is involved in a plethora of businesses. Its internet TV platform is billed the ‘Chinese Netflix’, while its smartphones sell like hot cakes in the Asian country. Yueting is keen for Letv to make a mark in the automotive industry and the company has taken several steps recently to do so.
In the beginning of 2015, Letv launched LeUI Auto – a system designed for use on in-car Android navigation systems that features audio and video content services along with navigation. It also announced plans for its own electric supercar that will take on the Tesla Model S, dubbed the “Le Supercar”. The project is headed by former Lotus China Team head, Tony Nie and the car will be sold under the Leshi Super Electric Car Company. Apparently, the vehicle could be produced at Aston Martin’s Gaydon factory in the United Kingdom
Meanwhile, Faraday Future, an automotive firm backed by Letv is looking to acquire a facility in North Las Vegas to produce EVs. The relationship among Faraday Future, Leshi Super Electric Car Company and Aston Martin is ambiguous but Faraday Future is expected to showcase an EV concept at CES 2015. Letv is also providing funding to another US-based EV company called Atieva.
That said, Aston Martin is working on its own EVs. The British company will launch an all-electric variant of the Rapide sedan as early as the end of 2017 after the RapidE Concept was shown to the visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping in London last year.