Rolls-Royce is looking to offer an alternative drivetrain vehicle, but not because customers are asking for it.
In 2011 the world’s most prestigious automotive brand rolled out the 102EX concept, an electric engineering study. It wasn’t put into production, and for good reason.
According to company CEO Törsten Müller-Ötvös, no matter what concept Rolls-Royce makes, “some customers drop down money and say ‘build me this.'” But, he continues, “that never happened with the 102EX.”
Not a single person wanted it.
The luxurious British brand took the 102EX on a world tour, showing it to clients and potential customers around the globe and while it didn’t generate any interest, it did create plenty of feedback.
Potential customers gave the usual complaints one hears about electric cars, namely, that the charge time is too long and the range not sufficient. While issues with any other vehicle, they’re deal breakers for Rolls because, as the CEO says, “No compromises are accepted at all.”
Based on this feedback, Rolls-Royce is now investigating the possibility of a plug-in hybrid. “Our customers have commuting range needs,” says Müller-Ötvös, stating that most work in urban environments but live in more rural areas. That said, he suggests a plug-in hybrid with a range of 30 to 50 miles is ideal.
While customers aren’t asking for it, Müller-Ötvös says “Rolls-Royce needs an alternative drivetrain.”
So when will it arrive? “Not very soon,” he says, commenting that we should expect something in the next five years.
GALLERY: Rolls-Royce 102EX
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