Aston Martin on Monday announced a supply agreement and long-term strategic partnership with California’s Lucid Group, through which Lucid will provide the UK performance-car maker with “select powertrain components” for upcoming electric vehicles.
Aston said that it will continue to look to Mercedes-Benz AG for internal combustion engines, hybrid systems, and electric/electronic architectures, so this may effectively enable the Aston Martin to pick and choose whatever’s best for a given scenario. But it did confirm that Lucid’s “cutting edge powertrain technology” will be paired with Mercedes’ electronic architecture in a near-future family of electrified Aston Martins.
Specifically, Lucid detailed, the agreement includes the company's twin-motor drive unit, battery technology, and its Wunderbox charging hardware, plus technical support from the company in integrating it all—with the sum of contracts in excess of $450 million. As detailed by Aston Martin parent Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings, the agreement effectively gives Lucid a 3.7% share of Aston Martin.
Lucid's modular twin-motor drive unit
The niche UK automaker is in the midst of a pivot that will make its core range of vehicles “fully electrified” by 2030, with 20% of its fleet electrified by 2024. Aston pointed to its upcoming platform that’s due to underpin an entire future model range of electrified vehicles, including grand-touring models, SUVs, sports cars, and supercars, with the first models on that platform due for launch in 2025. Prior to that, Aston is due to deliver its first plug-in hybrid, a supercar called Valhalla, in 2024.
“The supply agreement with Lucid is a game changer for the future EV-led growth of Aston Martin,” said Aston Martin executive chairman Lawrence Stroll. “Based on our strategy and requirements, we selected Lucid, gaining access to the industry’s highest performance and most innovative technologies for our future BEV products.”
Lucid Air Sapphire
The Aston Martin agreement marks the first high-profile agreement in which an established automaker is jumping to use Lucid’s technology, which centers around the in-house development of a very energy-dense, efficiency-focused EV powertrain and the systems around it. The propulsion tech is one of the core pieces of value for the company, and it's hinted that multiple companies had expressed interest in using it. Lucid’s motor design is especially a standout for its compactness, efficiency, and power density—even versus Tesla—and the company has said that it can scale up production.
Lucid supplied battery packs for previous seasons of Formula E, and it now supplies front motors for the Gen 3 Formula E cars of the current season, helping to make the cars lighter and more agile.
2020 Aston Martin Rapide E
Aston Martin has had some false starts in shifting to electric over the past decade. It planned to release a fully electric model, called the RapidE, which aimed for performance and lightness over emphasizing a large battery and long range. But troubles in first partnering with China’s LeEco, the backer of Faraday Future, delayed the project. Despite later turning to Williams Advanced Engineering, the project was canceled. Aston’s current push to produce EVs was announced in 2021.
Lucid is due to deliver the Air Sapphire electric performance sedan, claimed to be the most powerful sedan in the world, later this year. That model boasts a 0-60 mph time of less than two seconds, a 0-100 mph time below four seconds, and a top speed over 200 mph—likely enough to exceed the Tesla Model S Plaid on the track, let alone in handling.