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At the recent Geneva Motor Show, Rolls Royce surprised everyone by showing an electric version of their Phantom luxury sedan.
This super-green version might have been good for the environment, however it had its limitations, like taking 24-hours to fully charge from a household outlet (or eight-hours by using an induction charging system developed by Rolls Royce), and having a range of just 125-miles.
Rolls Royce customer’s didn’t give this green concept a warm welcome, and thus RR CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös decided to put a lid on this idea. He is reported to have said that no more examples of the electric Phantom will be made, and no customer has asked for one.
The reason he thinks the idea didn’t work is because most wealthy clients live on the outskirts of towns, and its limited-range would not work for them.
A hybrid version however is not out of the question, and Müller-Ötvös thinks that might be in the cards for the future. This way the company can go green, without range limitations.
There might not be a larger void between two automakers than the British brands Lotus and Rolls-Royce. One focuses on bare-bones sports cars, while the other epitomizes excessive luxury. But when Rolls-Royce decided to push ahead with plans to create an electric car concept, it went straight to the engineering minds at Lotus.
On display at the Geneva Auto Show, the Rolls-Royce 102EX, or Experimental Electric, utilizes Lotus technology, although the results are rather underwhelming. Rolls-Royce is using this car to see if there’s a market for an electric version of its super luxury saloon, but with a 0-62 mph time of “under eight seconds,” it’s hard to be impressed – especially when the standard V12-powered car does it in just 5.7 seconds. The reason for the more sedate acceleration might be that the two electric motors, which combine to make 290 kW and 590 lb-ft of torque, are powered by a lithium-ion battery pack that weighs, wait for it… 1,411 lbs.
Rolls will take the 102EX on a world-wide tour this year to gauge interest from potential customers. If they don’t ship it, however, it might just take all year to drive around the world with a range of 124 miles between charges.
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce 102EX
Rolls-Royce used to sell its cars with a tagline that bragged about the lack of cabin noise, with only the ticking of the in-cabin clock to be heard during your ride.
Now, that tagline is somewhat moot, as the all-electric 102EX, unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show, is for all intents and purposes silent thanks to its fully electric drivetrain. While Rolls insists this is a one-off vehicle intended for evaluation, they also stated that they recognize the necessity of exploring alternative powertrain solutions, and with its lack of noise, torquey power delivery and the lack of real driving distance required for their car means that an EV might be a nice fit for Rolls-Royce in the future.