James Bond to drive electric Aston Martin in new film — media reports

The Aston Martin logo on the front of a car at a dealership in Singapore June 1, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 14 March 2019
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James Bond to drive electric Aston Martin in new film — media reports

  • Daniel Craig will be taking to the wheel of the luxury car company’s new 250,000 British pound ($330,000) Rapide E, its first electric car

LONDON: Famous for his high speed car chases, James Bond is hardly an obvious tree hugger. 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.
The suave secret agent, played by Daniel Craig, will be taking to the wheel of the luxury car company’s new 250,000 British pound ($330,000) Rapide E, its first electric car, in the 25th Bond movie, the reports said.
Aston Martin confirmed it was manufacturing a limited edition of 155 models of the car, 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 PC’ (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 “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 in 1953.
Powered by an 800-volt battery system, the Rapide E is expected to have a top speed of 155mph (250 kph) with a 0-60mph acceleration time of under 4 seconds, according to Aston Martin.
But there is one snag — Bond may have to find somewhere to plug in after 200 miles.
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, range and charging time. ($1 = 0.7553 pounds)


Google to prompt Android users to choose preferred browsers to allay EU concerns

Updated 20 March 2019
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Google to prompt Android users to choose preferred browsers to allay EU concerns

  • The European Commission last year fined Google for using its mobile software to block rivals
  • Google will now try to ensure that Android users are aware of other browsers and search engines

BRUSSELS, Belgium: Alphabet’s Google will prompt Android users to choose their preferred browsers and search apps, a senior Google executive said on Tuesday, as the company seeks to allay EU antitrust concerns and ward off fresh sanctions.
The European Commission last year handed Google a record 4.34 billion euro ($4.9 billion) fine for using the market power of its mobile software to block rivals in areas such as Internet browsing. By pre-installing its Chrome browser and Google search app on Android devices, Google had an unfair advantage over its rivals, EU enforcers said.
Google will now try to ensure that Android users are aware of browsers and search engines other than its own services, Kent Walker, senior vice president of global affairs, said in a blog.
“In the coming months, via the Play Store, we’ll start asking users of existing and new Android devices in Europe which browser and search apps they would like to use,” he wrote without providing details.
The company, which introduced a licensing fee for device makers to access its app marketplace after the EU sanction, does not plan to scrap the charge.
Google could be fined up to 5 percent of Alphabet’s average daily worldwide turnover if it fails to comply with the EU order to stop anti-competitive practices.