Famous in part for his high-speed car chases while driving cars with hugely powerful internal-combustion engines, James Bond is hardly an obvious environmentalist. But the world’s best-known spy has apparently gone green, with British media reporting on Thursday that he is switching to an electric Aston Martin. More specifically, the reports say the suave secret agent, currently played by Daniel Craig, will be taking the wheel of the luxury-car company’s new £250,000 (approximately $330,000) Rapide E in the 25th Bond movie.
Aston Martin confirmed it was manufacturing a limited, 155-unit run of the car, its first-ever EV, but refused to say whether ‘007’ would be driving one in the film due out next year. Britain’s Sun newspaper reported that the decision was spearheaded by the film’s director Cary Joji Fukunaga, quoting an insider who described him as a “total tree-hugger.”
“Everybody is afraid of Bond getting labelled ‘too politically correct,’ but they all felt the time was right to put him in a zero-emission vehicle,” the insider was quoted as saying. American Fukunaga replaced British director Danny Boyle, who pulled out of the movie last year due to stated “creative differences.” Craig will be playing Bond for a fifth time in the as-yet-untitled movie. It is expected to be his last stint as the secret agent created by author Ian Fleming.
Powered by an 800-volt battery system, the Rapide E is expected to have a top speed of 155 mph and offer zero-to-60-mph acceleration of less than four seconds, according to Aston Martin. But there is one snag: Bond may have to find somewhere to plug in after 200 miles, the vehicle’s estimated range. Of course, driven the way James Bond tends to drive, the available range will be much less.
Global automakers are planning a $300 billion surge in spending on electric-vehicle technology over the next five to 10 years, according to a Reuters analysis. The growth is driven largely by environmental concerns and government policy, and supported by rapid technological advances that have improved battery cost, capacity, range, and charging time. (Reporting by Emma Batha @emmabatha; Editing by Claire Cozens.