Aston Martin wants to revive its classic cars by turning them electric
Aston Martin’s Heritage EV program sees the company take a step forward in its plans for electric vehicles — or many steps backward, depending on how you look at it.
With the Heritage EV program, the company is offering owners of classic Aston Martins the chance to have their car converted into an electric vehicle. The conversion process involves replacing the engine and gearbox with an electric “cassette”, and adding a screen to the vehicle’s interior. This process doesn’t sound too intrusive, although the idea of having the innards of a classic car ripped out in favour of modern technology is a little saddening.
The technology used in the electric system is based on the Aston Martin RapidE, its electric car due out next year. Only 155 RapidE cars are to be produced, so converting a classic is the most plausible option for getting an Aston Martin electric vehicle.
Heritage EV is staggered, so different cars will be convertible at different times. The program starts in late 2019 with the DB6 MKII Volante, with other cars available to convert later. The price of this procedure hasn’t been announced yet.
The aim of the project is to cater to the growing number of cities banning polluting cars — Madrid has already banned them with Rome following closely behind, and even the UK plans to ban diesel and petrol cars by 2040. Electric vehicles are, therefore, the future of motor transport.
However, since the RapidE was developed in conjunction with Chinese sponsors, who subsequently dropped out, the Heritage EV program could well be a cunning way for Aston Martin to wring some extra profitability from the project. Jaguar has already announced a similar project with its all-electric E-Type, allowing all E-Type owners to convert their cars to an electric one if they so wish, with the entire process being reversible if they change their mind.
Many Aston Martin fans may feel that gutting ancient cars is tantamount to blasphemy, however with the UK’s slow march to environmental sustainability, electric vehicles will soon be necessary for anyone who wants to show off their beautiful car on the roads.