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

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)


Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

Updated 21 min 46 sec ago

Qantas urges rapper will.i.am to withdraw racism accusation against staffer

  • Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am said on Twitter he was racially targeted by a Qantas airline attendant
  • Qantas, which called the incident a ‘misunderstanding,’ has requested the rapper to retract his statement

MELBOURNE: Australia’s flagship airline, Qantas, said on Monday it stood ready to offer legal assistance to a member of its flight crew named in a racism accusation by Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am on social media.
The US singer had taken a flight about 1-1/2-hours long to Sydney, Australia’s most populous city, from northeastern Brisbane to play at a concert on Saturday, but was met by Australian federal police at the arrival gate.
He said on Twitter he was racially targeted by an airline attendant, whom he identified by name, after failing to put away his laptop as the flight prepared to land, because he had put on noise-canceling headphones to “make beats.”
Qantas, which called the incident a “misunderstanding,” has requested the rapper to retract his statement.
“Absent a retraction, and if the crew member wanted to take the matter further, we’d certainly be willing to provide legal support for them to do this,” a spokesman told Reuters in a statement.
Police confirmed they spoke to crew and passengers at the airport, but said no further action was required. “The Australian Federal Police considers this matter finalized,” they said in a statement.
On Saturday, will.i.am said in a post on Twitter, “Is calling the police on a passenger for not hearing (the) P.A. due to wearing noise-canceling headphones appropriate?”
He added, “If didn’t put away my laptop ‘in a rapid 2min time’ I’d understand. I did comply quickly & politely, only to be greeted by police. I think I was targeted.”
As of Monday, will.i.am had not made any retraction on social media, even as other commenters pointed out that the crew member he identified had received threats on social media as a result.
He pointed out that if he were rude to a fan or journalist, he would be publicly named.
“This is what Twitter is for...we are supposed to call out wrongdoings so we can have a safer, more compassionate world,” will.i.am said.
Reuters was not able to contact the rapper through his agency, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment on social media.