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)


Saudi Arabia’s East Coast Festival lines up top-class cultural activities

Updated 25 March 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s East Coast Festival lines up top-class cultural activities

  • Dammam Corniche event celebrates Saudi heritage; more ‘seasons’ to come
  • The festival is being held at the waterfront of King Abdullah Park, and access to the 10-day event is free

DAMMAM: People in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province have had no shortage of things to do during the Sharqiah Season. From pop concerts featuring international artists to massive sporting events, there is something for everyone among the 83 different events planned.

However, it would be remiss not to celebrate the heritage and culture of the country itself. The Enter East Coast Festival, an open-air marketplace with plenty of activities for locals and tourists to enjoy.

The festival is being held along the Dammam Corniche, at the waterfront of King Abdullah Park, and access to the 10-day event is free.

It features stalls with craftsmen beavering away. At one, a potter is bent over a wheel as he makes vases, lanterns and small toys. At another, carpenters fashion chairs and tables out of planks of wood. A weaver hums as he plaits together palm fronds to form baskets and fans.

The vendors are mostly from Saudi Arabia, but there are other countries showcasing their work too. 

Fishermen and sailors from Oman display pearls still in their shells, delicate replicas of traditional fishing boats, and stretches of fishing net. The stalls from Kuwait feature items from the past and vendors from Bahrain offer local sweets, handmade items and clothing.

There are Saudi dances and musical performances too. One stage, resembling a ship, features performers dressed as sailors singing traditional sea shanties. Another stage has drummers and a singer. A huge area in the middle of the space is allotted to dancers, flag-bearers, and even armed officers participating in a traditional Ardah, or Saudi dance.

Those looking to eat something can chow down on Saudi offerings including jareesh, margoog, or qursan. There are food trucks selling Western fare such as burgers and tacos. 

The festival runs until March 30, when the Sharqiah Season ends. 

The season is a collaborative effort between the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, the General Entertainment Authority, the General Culture Authority and the General Sports Authority. It is the first of 11 scheduled festivals planned across the country for 2019.

Future seasons will focus on different areas of Saudi Arabia, with different entertainment options for each city, and different parts of the year, such as Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.

Decoder

What is Sharqiah Season?

The festival features more than 80 events in Eastern Province cities, including Dammam, Dhahran, Alkhobar, Al-Ahsa and Jubail. Future seasons will focus on different areas of Saudi Arabia, with different entertainment options for each city. Upcoming seasons will focus on different areas, and also different parts of the year, such as Ramadan, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Read our reports on the Sharqiah Season festival here: http://www.arabnews.com/tags/sharqiah-season