Few automotive engineers know more about electric powertrains than Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.
In his previous life as Nissan’s head of development, Palmer led the team that created the Leaf. His arrival at Gaydon has put Aston Martin on course for what will be a part-electric future, and he is politely sceptical about James Dyson’s plan to introduce an electric car in 2020.
“I wish him the best of luck,” Palmer told Autocar, “but on the numbers that have been reported, I know you won’t do it for that money, and you won’t do it in that timescale. At least, I know that I couldn’t.”
Aston Martin Consulting has been involved in several EV projects for other manufacturers (the only publicly disclosed one being Faraday Future), and Palmer says an underestimation of the challenges involved has been a common factor.
“We’ve had discussions with about 10 of them,” he continued. “Every single one has underestimated the difficulty of engineering a car to a budget and to an aggressive timescale. Some of them will get there, but always over budget and late.”