Now Rolls-Royce goes all electric 21 | 02 | 2011

    THE THOUGHT of an electric Rolls-Royce will have many people turning in their graves, but that's exactly what the luxury car company will unveil at the Geneva Motor Show next month.

    Code-named 102EX, the battery-powered Phantom experimental model fulfils a two-year-old promise from the company. Rolls-Royce says the car will be “crucial in in forming future decisions on alternative powertrains”.

    Labelled as "the world’s first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment," Rolls CEO, Torsten Muller-Otvos, explained that the Goodwood-built car will go on a world tour of major markets during the rest of 2011.

    While the company will use the Goodwood-built 102EX to “seek clarity on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future”, Rolls owners, enthusiasts and members of the public in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America will be invited to test drive the car. Their opinions will be carefully canvassed and recorded.

    “We have to be convinced any future alternative drivetrain delivers an authentic Rolls-Royce experience,” explained Muller-Otvos, who also made it clear there are no direct plans to put an electric Phantom into production. “We must choose technology that is right for our customers and brand, which puts us on a sound footing for a sustainable future.”

    The appearance of the 102EX fulfils a promise made a little over two years ago by former CEO Tom Purves, who revealed that the near-silence of electric propulsion and the fact that full torque is available from standstill in electric cars, would align “perfectly” with Rolls’s core values.

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