Aston Martin will make old cars electric so they aren’t banned from cities

Add Aston Martin to the growing list of companies using nostalgia to sell customers on the idea of ​​an electric vehicle future. The British automaker announced this week that it is launching a “Heritage EV” program where owners of classic Aston Martins can have their cars converted to an all-electric powertrain.

Wouldn’t that be sacrilege, you say? That’s an argument for another day. Aston Martin is launching this program for a very specific reason. Cities around the world, but especially in Europe, have begun to avoid internal combustion engines in favor of improving air quality for residents. If this pattern continues, it begs the question: what good is a classic car if you can’t drive it anywhere?

Aston Martin says the technology for these conversions will be based on “key components” used to develop the Rapide E, a super limited all-electric sports car due for delivery late next year. The Rapide E will use an 800-volt, 65 kWh battery, offer “over 200 miles” of range and deliver a sub-4 second 0-60 mph time, as well as a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Only 155 of them will also be sold. So the best way to get a taste of Aston Martin’s electric future might actually be one of these EV conversions. (They’re also slated to start in late 2019, but no word on pricing yet.)

The automaker says the first car it will develop a conversion plan for is the 1970 DB6 MkII Volante. Aston Martin will build Rapide E-inspired ‘cassettes’ that can essentially slide in where the engine and gearbox used to be. original gears, and will even be fixed to the same supports. A new screen will be installed inside the car, but otherwise not much has changed. It also means that, if an owner changes his mind and also has the money (which, of course, he does), he should be able to change it if he wants.

“Given the historical importance of these collector cars, it is essential that any electric vehicle conversion respect the integrity of the original car,” the company wrote in a press release this week. “The cassette system offers the perfect solution, giving owners the reassurance of knowing their car is upgradable and socially responsible, while remaining a genuine Aston Martin with the ability to revert to its original powertrain if desired.”

Electric vehicle conversions have been around for a while now, and customers and companies seem particularly focused on classic cars like Porsches, Range Rovers, Beetles and VW buses. Jaguar recently announced plans to sell an all-electric version of its famous 1960s E-Type. favorite cars of the past. Aston Martin is only the last, but it surely won’t be the last.

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