Aston Martin CEO: Diesel Is Done, Electrification Is Imminent

Speaking this week at Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance conference, Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer detailed why he believes electrification is the best solution for the auto industry.

Palmer said the entire industry will inevitably shift over to electricity, reported Bloomberg, if for no other reason than it is the most convincing way to deliver as much power as drivers want.

Rather than downsizing a gasoline engine to meet emissions regulations, Palmer called battery electric approach a better way for Aston Martin to minimize carbon emissions without sacrificing performance.

“We’re a V12 engine company,” he explained. “Project that into the future. Do I go the way of the rest of the industry and downsize the engine? Do I see Aston Martin with a three-cylinder engine? God forbid.

“You’ve got to do something radical. Electric power gives you that power. It gives you that torque.”

The company is currently developing an all-electric Rapide, expected in 2017. This two-door combines luxury and performance, with all-wheel drive and an estimated 200-mile range.

“We’re talking about an electric Aston Martin with between 800 and 1,000 horsepower – imagine having all that torque on demand,” Palmer said of the electric Rapide.

Aston Martin makes no apologies for upcoming Rapide’s predicted $200,000 to $250,000 price tag. Instead, the company wants to focus on infusing each vehicle with “power, beauty and soul,” said Palmer, and to avoid being grouped with the “vanilla in the middle.”

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At least one other electrified Aston Martin is in the works: the plug-in hybrid DBX. However, it doesn’t sound as though either a diesel option or fuel cell powertrain will be part of the company’s future models.

“Time is up for the diesel,” said Palmer, noting that the Volkswagen emission scandal “means our customers aren’t going to trust us for a while.”

“In markets where you have a lot of installed capacity, diesel will go through a slow death,” he added.

And for fuel cell technology, Palmer said the limited number of refueling stations makes hydrogen a poor choice.

“We have to overcome the range anxiety,” said Palmer. “But that’s much better than the range panic that you’re going to get from having only four hydrogen stations in the U.K. There are plugs everywhere.”

 

Bloomberg