Luxury car brand Aston Martin has today taken another step towards creating its own electric vehicle by 2018.

The Gaydon-based firm has signed a memorandum of understanding with global technology company LeEco, with the aim of collaborating on the development and manufacture of a production version of the RapidE concept.

It is also set to add to a range of next-generation connected electric vehicles on behalf of Aston Martin, LeEco and Faraday Future.

This latest signing extends the existing collaboration between the two companies.

In January, LeEco and Aston Martin revealed the first results of their partnership - a Rapide S incorporating the latest internet of the vehicle system by Letv, the former name of LeEco.

The second area of the partnership, namely the development of low-emission vehicle technologies, has been accelerated as they have developed their respective plans for launching a range of new electric vehicles during the second half of the decade.

Comment: Prof David Bailey on Aston's electric dreams

The first model to be developed, called the Aston Martin RapidE, was created to explore how the company can take an existing production vehicle and create an all-electric sports sedan.

Since the creation of this concept, Aston Martin and Letv have been advancing the work on production feasibility including the identification of technologies for battery systems and the powertrain.

Both companies are now focused on bringing the RapidE to market in 2018 utilising the best technologies from the companies' respective portfolios.

Aston Martin's chief executive Andy Palmer said: "Aston Martin is dedicated to developing a range of cars with low emission technologies.

"We have been encouraged by the project speed and technical depth shown by Letv in the development of the RapidE concept towards full production.

"Bringing the RapidE to market by 2018 is an important milestone for both companies."