British automaker Aston Martin has chosen a partner to bring its RapidE electric vehicle concept to production.

The brand has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with technology company LeEco, a first step in developing a collaboration that create a production model of the brand’s concept car. As consumers become more environmentally conscious, automakers have found they need to develop cars that leave less of a footprint.

Aston Martin first worked with LeEco on the Rapide S unveiled in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, which incorporates Letv’s Internet of the Vehicle technology.

The collaboration is also focused on developing low-emissions vehicles, with both companies planning to develop and manufacture an additional range of electric vehicles in the second half of the decade. Aston Martin’s RapidE is expected to become available for purchase in 2018.

Last October, Aston Martin sped into both the future and China with the announcement of an electric RapidE concept vehicle.

The concept model was developed in conjunction with investors ChinaEquity and collaborators Williams Advanced Engineering and marked the first step in Aston Martin’s move toward zero-emission sports cars. The growth of electric vehicles is nearly irreversible at this point, and any automaker hoping to compete in the future will likely need to have at least one in its fleet.

“Aston Martin are dedicated to developing a range of cars with low emission technologies,” said Dr Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin. “We have been encouraged by the project speed and technical depth shown by Letv in the development of the RapidE concept towards full production.

“Bringing the RapidE to market by 2018 is an important milestone for both companies.”

- Source: Luxury Daily