LONDON -- Aston Martin's plans to launch its first full-electric car, the Rapide E, moved closer to reality after the automaker announced the production site and a local supplier for the battery packs.
Aston plans to build 155 full-electric versions of the Rapide E sports sedan starting next year when it opens a new factory in St. Athan, near Cardiff in Wales.
Aston Martin said Tuesday that the factory will become the company's center for electrification.
Along with the Rapide E, the factory will also build Aston's first SUV starting late next year. The SUV was previewed by the DBX electric concept at the 2015 Geneva auto show. The production version will only be available as a gasoline model after the company dropped plans for it to be electric.
The plant also will be the production home of the Lagonda brand, which the company is reviving as an ultraluxury all-electric subbrand aimed at Rolls-Royce and Bentley customers.
The Rapide E, based on the conventially-powered Rapide sedan, is a test-bed for the company's electric technology before it is used by Lagonda, first vehicle from its all-electric Lagonda brand will be an SUV arriving in 2021, followed by a sedan a year later.