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Rolls-Royce Motor Cars confirms electric Phantom test project

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars confirmed the development of 102EX, a one-off, fully electric-powered Phantom, to debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 1 March 2011. The car will tour during 2011, serving as a test bed to gather research data which will be used in informing future decisions on alternative drive-trains for Rolls-Royce Motor Cars.

We have engineered the world’s first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment. With this vehicle, we begin an exploration into alternative drive-trains, seeking clarity on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future.

—CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos

With 102EX, also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric (EE), the company intends to carefully test the opinions and reactions to alternative drive-train options of a range of stakeholders including owners, enthusiasts, members of the public and the media. 102EX will serve as a working test bed for a global tour that takes in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. Through test drives, owners will be given the opportunity to experience an alternative drive-train technology and to feedback their experiences, thoughts and concerns directly to Rolls-Royce.

Although there are no plans to develop a production version, as one of the company’s EX models it will serve to begin a dialogue with existing owners and stakeholders, posing as well as answering questions of its audience. These include the car’s ability to deliver an acceptable range between re-charges and to operate in extreme weather conditions. But also to benchmark reliability and quality against customer expectations of the world’s pinnacle automotive brand.

In preparation for the Geneva debut, Rolls-Royce will launch the website www.electricluxury.com this week, a portal to fuel a wider global debate seeking views on the question of electric luxury from media, VIPs and stakeholders. The site will also deliver regular updates of the car’s progress while on tour.

Comments

3PeaceSweet

Rolls-Royce have fingers in many pies with turbines, engines and fuel cells. I wouldn't be suprised to see them move to distributed scale power generation. They have a 60MW single stage turbine which can hit 42% efficiency

http://www.rolls-royce.com/energy/energy_products/gas_turbines/trent_60/index.jsp

HarveyD

A high quality very high efficiency ($50,000+) 100+ Kwh battery back should not affect sales of a $300,000+ car that much. However, the extra 500+Kg may create a total weight problem unless light weight materials are used to compensate. A 4-wheel drive e-Rolls could become a must for people with $$$$$. It would have to look different?

johne

The car company(owned by BMW)is a different company to the engine manufacturer 3PS.

Engineer-Poet

Electric could become the ultimate symbol of luxury and smoothness. The ritziest clubs could be among the first to install chargers. Running on electrons could become a status symbol.

I love it. Go, Rolls!

3PeaceSweet

Cheers johne, I wasn't sure what connection they shared other than the name.

The engine in something like this probably weighs 300kgs and all in one place. At least with the battery you can get better weight distribution, no gear changes, masses of torque, smooth and quiet

ai_vin

E-P, Rolls-Royce used to boast that at 60mph in one of their cars, the loudest sound was the ticking of the clock, they really don't need to go electric to get luxury and smoothness.

From the Rolls-Royce website: "All Rolls-Royce cars feature a Power in Reserve dial on the facia. It's a reminder that there is always power to spare in our V12 engines - at 70mph they use less than 10 percent of available power. Delivering 75% of torque at just 1,000rpm, working in perfect balance with the automatic gearbox, the acceleration is so smooth it feels like you are in an infinite first gear. This effortless power, combined with our unique dynamic chassis and cutting-edge suspension creates the famous Rolls-Royce 'magic carpet ride'."

Their Phantom has a gross vehicle weight of 3050kg/6724lb to a payload of only 500kg/1102lb.

Engineer-Poet

Probably obtained by buying a clock designed to tick loudly. But what do they have to pay (in weight, bulk and cost) to get that quiet and smoothness with an ICE mechanically coupled to the vehicle? What could they do if some of that budget could be put to other uses?

A plug-in series hybrid Rolls would be able to get that isolation more easily. It would be easier to provide top-level climate control, since electric systems wouldn't need to run off the engine. Electric everything... easily done. And electric propulsion makes 4-wheel drive relatively simple, which would make handling in slippery conditions a bit more certain.

I'm not saying a Rolls isn't a great ride. I'm saying that it still makes tradeoffs, and different ones may provide more of what its customer base wants in a car.

Account Deleted

Rolls-Royce is known as one of the best reputed brand all over the world. It is really a nice idea from Rolls-Royce to increase its business and goodwill in market. I am sure Rolls-Royce will get success in this test.

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