By Emma Batha
LONDON, March 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - 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)
(Reporting by Emma Batha @emmabatha; Editing by Claire Cozens. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)
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