Aston Martin has expressed interest in joining fellow high-end manufacturers Jaguar and Audi on the Formula E grid.
Speaking to Automotive News, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer expressed a strong liking for the electric open-wheel series and said the automaker could eventually commit to a full Formula E program. They would join fellow manufacturers Jaguar and Audi on the grid, along with BMW, which also recently committed to a Formula E effort for the 2018-2019 season.
Aston Martin says it will only be interested in Formula E when drivers no longer have to switch cars halfway through the race. As of now, the limited battery life of the Formula E cars means they can only complete a portion of the race distance before the driver is forced to pit and get into another car with a fully charged battery pack. Palmer says this reinforces the range anxiety many consumers have with electric vehicles. This will change for the 2018-2019 Formula E season, and, in the words of Palmer, “then it starts to get interesting.”
Aston Martin recently announced its first-ever electric car, the RapidE. Based on the standard Rapide sedan, the RapidE will be limited to just 155 units and will start at $255,000. It may be expensive, but it will also be quite fast, with Palmer revealing in an interview in 2015 that it will have “between 800 and 1,000 horsepower.” He told AN the car, which is being developed alongside Williams Advanced Engineering, has been a “learning experience” for the brand and will help with the development of future Aston EVs, such as the DBX crossover.
Both Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have committed to Formula E programs for the 2019-2020 season. That means that by that time, we could have Jaguar, BMW, Aston Martin, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Audi duking it out in the same series. Don’t forget reigning world champs Renault, Nio and Mahindra, either. Formula E is shaping up to be a mighty popular racing series with plenty of manufacturer support. The arrival of electric cars doesn’t need to mean the death of fun.
[Source: Automotive News]