LeEco, formerly known as LeTV, will push out an Aston Martin electric vehicle by 2018, reiterating their existing partnership through a new MOU, the company said on Wednesday.
LeEco joins a handful of Chinese tech companies taking on US counterparts to release hi-tech electric and autonomous autos before 2020. According to LeEco, the latest MOU will possibly also cover the development of LeEco and Faraday Future-brand electric vehicles.
The partnership will initially oversee the production of the Aston Martin RapidE, the German brand’s first electric car. The vehicle will be based on an existing Aston Martin sedan design, with the aim of taking it fully electric. The car will be manufactured in Gaydon, England, according to the release.
“We have been encouraged by the project speed and technical depth shown by LeTV [LeEco] in the development of the RapidE concept towards full production,” said Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, “Bringing the RapidE to market by 2018 is an important milestone for both companies.”
LeEco and Aston Martin have worked together in the past on developing connected car systems. Last month the duo released an Aston Martin Rapide S with a fully integrated LeEco Internet of the Vehicle (IOV) system.
LeEco founder and CEO Jia Yueting is a primary investor in Faraday Future, the eccentric Chinese EV startup behind the Zero1 supercar. The integration of LeEco’s IOV and powertrain technologies with Aston Martin’s vehicle technology and Faraday Future’s EV platform could prove a formidable partnership in the race for global dominance in electric vehicles.
China’s tech giants, including LeEco, have been vying to enter the autos space as their US counterparts make a series of important breakthroughs. Baidu, China’s largest search engine, revealed their first fully-autonomous car had completed test runs on the outskirts of Beijing this December.