RR reveals electric Phantom 02 | 03 | 2011

    ROLLS-ROYCE IS PLUGGING (ouch!) its ‘experimental’ electric version of the Phantom at the Geneva show, but while officially the company is stressing the car is "a concept", seeing it in the metal certainly made most journalists think the car is very close to production.

    Based on a regular-length Phantom, the 102EX concept replaces the standard twin-turbo V12 with two electric motors which power the back axle through a single-speed transmission.

    The combined output is 389bhp, compared with the petrol car’s 453bhp, but perhaps of greater interest is they also offer 590lb/ft of torque across what Rolls-Royce calls “a wide range”. The petrol figure is 'only 531lb/ft.

    What all this does is ensure the 102EX reaches 60mph in “under eight seconds” and can accelerate on to an electronically limited 100mph maximum; not bad for a car which weighs around 200kg more than a regular Phantom, at 2700kg.

    Not surprisingly, RR believes the lithium ion battery pack fitted to the 102EX could be the largest yet fitted to a road car. With an overall capacity of 71kWh, it's just under three times that of the battery in a Nissan Leaf and Rolls says the battery will offer a range of around 125 miles. If used on a daily basis, its life expectancy is three years.

    There are four charging units — three of which are devoted to either single-phase charging (which allows a full charge in 20 hours) and three-phase charging (eight hours) — on the electric Phantom. As you would probably expect, the plug-in charger occupies the same position as the fuel filler on a regular Phantom.

    The fourth charger is an induction unit. It allows the car to be charged wirelessly via a ‘transfer pad’ on the ground, and is 90% efficient when measured from mains supply to battery.

    While RR 'people' continue to say the car is not for immediate production, the 102EX is now embarking on a world tour testing durability and customer feedback across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.

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    CLICK HERE to see our video of the 102EX in action

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    Jim McGill

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