Aston Martin partners with China's LeEco to build first EV

The companies will co-develop a production version of the RapidE concept.

Aston Martin has partnered with China's LeEco to co-develop an electric vehicle based on the RapidE concept.

Unveiled at London's Lancaster House ahead of a meeting between British royals and China President Xi Jinping, the RapidE is nearly identical to the Rapide S when viewed from the outside.

The automaker and LeEco have already collaborated on a Rapide S concept outfitted with a 13.3-inch touchscreen and an Internet of the Vehicle (IOV) technology suite. The partnership will now extend to development of low-emission vehicle technologies.

"Since the creation of this concept vehicle, Aston Martin and Letv have been advancing the work on production feasibility including the identification of technology solutions for battery systems and powertrain," Aston said in a statement. "Both companies are now focused on bringing the RapidE to market in 2018 utilizing the best technologies from the companies' portfolios."

The RapidE was developed with help from Williams Advanced Engineering, the battery supplier for Formula E electric race cars.

Looking past the RapidE, the latest partnership could eventually spawn a range of next-generation connected electric vehicles for Aston Martin, LeEco and Faraday Future.

Read more!