Luxury carmaker Aston Martin has moved a step closer to creating its first production ready electric vehicle after it announced a tie-up with LeEco.
The partnership is aiming to develop Aston Martin's RapidE concept vehicle, which was unveiled as a prototype in October last year.
The companies said there was also the "potential" for their joint venture to make other cars.
Founded in 1913 Aston Martin has gone on to become one of the most iconic British brands. Made famous for its starring roles in the James Bond movies, the business is nonetheless relatively small compared to Vauxhall and Nissan who dominate the electric vehicle market.
Aston Martin CEO, Dr Andy Palmer commented: “Aston Martin are dedicated to developing a range of cars with low emission technologies. We have been encouraged by the project speed and technical depth shown in the development of the RapidE concept towards full production.”
The car, which will be built at Aston Martin’s factory in Gaydon, Warwickshire, will be launched in 2018, where it will complete with other premium brands such as BMW
LeEco (formerly known as Letv) is also known for backing Faraday Future, the Californian start-up that is working on electric, self-driving cars that could be made public through a subscription-based business model.
“In China we have around 300 million people who visit our website. We could advertise the Aston Martin for free. And we can use celebrities to promote our vehicle. This is the way we do business,” said Lei Ding, co-founder of LeEco’s auto division.