Aston Martin is turning to electrification, but it will get some help from US EV startup Lucid because of its relationship with Saudi Arabia.
Overnight, the two automakers announced that Aston Martin would use “Lucid’s current and future powertrain and battery technology” for the new electric vehicle platform.
This “bespoke” EV architecture is said to underpin the company’s “entire range of future electrified models, from supercars to sports cars, GTs and SUVs.” The target launch date for the first car on this platform is 2025. It’s unclear at this stage whether Aston Martin plans to lead with an electric sports car or a more practical model.
For now, the company will continue to develop cars on the existing architecture, with a plug-in hybrid due in 2024 and a Valhalla hypercar scheduled for 2026. Aston Martin aims to fully electrify its “core models” by 2030.
As part of today’s new partnership, Aston Martin will issue approximately 28 million new shares to Lucid, Automotive News reports. It also agreed to overpay Lucid by $450 million ($673 million). The payments will be made in stages and the total amount includes a one-time payment plus cash for powertrain components, batteries, electronics, consulting and technical services.
The two automakers said the new partnership arose out of a “competitive process”, but it should be noted that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has stakes in both Aston Martin and Lucid.
Lucid, which recently secured a new $3 billion ($4.5 billion) funding round from PIF, continues to work to ramp up production of its Air electric sedan.
Aston Martin currently has a technical partnership with Mercedes-Benz, with the German company supplying engines, drivetrain technology and electrical components for a variety of vehicles.
Aston Martin said Mercedes-Benz will continue to supply internal combustion engines as well as technology for upcoming hybrid and electric vehicles. However, Aston Martin will now pay for these projects in cash, while Mercedes-Benz no longer plans to increase its stake beyond its current 9.0 percent.