Automotive

Aston Martin Being Pushed by China to EVs

Aston Martin is being pushed by China to move toward electric vehicles, causing an upheaval in the automaker and in the global auto industry.

Policies to cut pollution in China started to drive the automaker and the global auto industry to make a rapid move toward electric vehicles, according to Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.

“This whole show is revolving around what they call new energy vehicles, but Chinese policy is very much driving the move towards electric cars and certainly Aston has to go with that flow,” Palmer said in an interview at the Beijing auto show on Wednesday.

“We’re probably in the biggest change in the automotive industry since we moved from horse to car.”

EVs Policy in China

President Xi Jinping’s administration is implementing production quotas for new-energy vehicles, targeting a seven-fold increase in NEV sales and considering a ban on gas guzzlers as China tries to reduce emission in smog-choked cities and cut its reliance on imported oil.

Conventional manufacturing giants from Volkswagen AG to General Motors Co. are scrambling to gain a lead in the race for the future, competing with a slew of small startups.

China also plans to ease a 50 percent limit on investment by the foreign automaker in what has become the world’s biggest car market, paving the way for more partnerships and deals, even as domestic makers eye the European and U.S. markets.

Aston Martin Being Pushed by China to EVs (3)

New Technologies

Aston Martin is “talking to everybody” to understand new technologies, as everyone from Internet companies to classical electrical suppliers innovate, Palmer said.

“We are putting down a fairly significant number of people basically to pick up those trends and to tap into some of the technology here.”

The British brand plans to add some hybridization to every car by the mid-2020s, with as many as half of all car sales to be fully hybrid by that time, Palmer said. The rest will be powered by “efficient” gasoline engines.

Aston Martin unveiled the Lagonda Vision Concept, an electric luxury car range that will have its first battery-electric model by 2021, at the Geneva Auto show in March. The company will revive the 114-year-old brand to present its electrification and autonomous driving technologies.

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