The shift to electric has caught up with James Bond. The infamous and fictitious British spy character will be driving an all-electric Aston Martin Rapide E in his next film.
The Rapid E is the first move towards electrification by the iconic British sports carmaker, and will now join a long pedigree of Aston Martin cars to star in Bond films, including the DB5, DBS, V8 Vantage Volante and the V12 Vanquish.
Unlike its predecessors, the Rapide E will have a zero emissions electric drivetrain, thanks to “tree-hugger” director Cary Joji Fukunaga ,who is reported to be the driving force behind the inclusion of the electric car in the next film, which has a working title of “Shatterhand”.
Fukunaga wants James Bond star Daniel Craig to drive the limited edition luxury electric car which was first teased in September 2018.
Worth up to £250,000 ($A469,000 at today’s rates), and sporting a 64kWh battery, two rear-mounted motors for 454kW power output and 950Nm torque, there will only be 155 copies of the car made in total.
“The decision was spearheaded by the film’s new director, who’s a total tree-hugger,” an insider told the UK’s Sun. “He is working directly with Aston Martin to get one of their electric cars ready for its big close-up.”
“Everybody is afraid of Bond getting labelled ‘too PC’ but they all felt the time was right to put him in a zero emission vehicle.”
The electric version of the Aston Martin has been developed in collaboration with Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE), and kickstarts the British carmaker’s foray into electric drivetrain technology.
The news of the Rapide E’s inclusion in the spy film series is no doubt a sign to the public that the carmaker has the future on its mind.
Its recent opening to the London stock market saw its balance sheet dip into the red due to a £61 million ($A114 million) management payout and a further £136 million ($A255,000) in payments to shareholders and advisers, resulting in a £68 million loss and causing stocks to plummet by 21.4 per cent late last month.
But as a favourite plaything of the rich and famous, the 94-year-old brand has already weathered seven bankruptcies, and is already making more moves to shoulder its way into electric mobility.
At the 2019 Geneva Motor Show this month Aston Martin Lagonda revealed an all-terrain and all-electric SUV concept vehicle, known as the Vision Concept, that could go into production as soon as 2022.
While the Lagona SUV is not likely to be kitted out with all the cool gadgets film-lovers expect in the James Bond series, it seems that the Rapide E will follow its predecessors’ footsteps in that regard.
“It’s going to be the centre of an incredible action sequence in the movie. James Bond is known for driving amazing cars and this one won’t disappoint either.
“It’s going to have all the high-tech gadgets. To be clear, this is something Cary pushed for and Daniel and the producers are going along with,” said the insider.
We can’t wait to see what electric-powered gadgets the writers come up with.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.