Car Industry

Aston Martin halts electric car development as part of massive turnaround effort

Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll has bailed out the British unit while acquiring 16.7% of the carmaker, which will reenter Formula One as a works team.

Out with EVs, and in with mid-engined sports cars.
Mike Cutler/Roadshow

Big changes are afoot for British carmaker Aston Martin. On Friday, the automaker announced a $240 million investment from Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, and his consortium will now own 16.7% of the company.

As a result, Aston is reshuffling its priorities. With the investment and incoming leadership changes, it will pause all further investments into electric vehicles. The freeze on all associated EV investments, which includes the Lagonda division, will be in place "beyond 2025," according to the company.

This will free up cash to pour into its current vehicles, which are more likely to return a profit. EVs are an expensive segment to compete in at the moment and for Aston Martin, which has struggled recently financially, it's likely the smartest move to ensure survival.

The automaker declined to comment further beyond the announcement surrounding its recalculated electric car strategy.

The news puts recent events into perspective. Aston Martin previously said its upcoming DBX SUV would feature an electric version, though the company canned plans years ago. The automaker also killed the Rapide-E electric sedan earlier this month, having been slated for limited production.

Now, the upcoming range of mid-engined sports cars will be the main focus. The Valkyrie hypercar will begin deliveries later this year, and its little brother, the Valhalla, will launch in 2022. Beyond that, a reborn mid-engined Vanquish will arrive with a new V6 engine. Aston Martin will pour resources into the V6, which will support hybrid technologies, and affirmed all of its models will support a hybrid option by the middle of this decade.

In the grander picture, Stroll's investment paves the way for Aston Martin to make a proper return to Formula One. The company will operate a works team as Racing Point rebrands as the Aston Martin F1 team. Stroll, who made his fortune in fashion, rescued Racing Point from collapse and currently owns the team, where his son serves as a driver. The news will see Aston Martin pull its backing from Red Bull Racing after the 2020 season.

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