Rolls-Royce is Eyeing a Pure Electric Phantom
It’s hard to think of a better candidate for an electric powertrain than the Rolls-Royce Phantom.
EV powertrains are smooth, torquey and quiet – the same characteristics Rolls-Royce looks for in a powertrain. It’s therefore not surprising to hear that Rolls-Royce is eyeing down a pure-electric version of its new Phantom, though such a product is still quite a long way out.
Why isn’t Rolls-Royce putting a priority on EVs, you may ask? Well, the simple answer is that not one single Rolls-Royce customer has expressed interest in such a product. The automaker will therefore only implement EV powertrains in its cars when legislation requires them to do so – a scenario that will likely play out in China and other Asian markets before it does in Europe and North America.
“We will go full electric, we don’t do any interim steps,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös told Autocar, ruling out the idea of a hybrid Rolls-Royce. “Emissions-free is emissions-free.”
He later added that he hasn’t seen “a single cheque landing on my desk,” with a customer telling him to build them an electric Phantom, so it seems the demand is small. The same goes for autonomous vehicles. While the technology is something Rolls-Royce is interested in, customers don’t really want it – mainly because many of them have a chauffeur. Like EVs, an autonomous Rolls-Royce will happen only when the technology is near perfect and without compromise.
Rolls Royce will make autonomous cars “when it is advanced enough that it is a real effortless experience for customers, not needing to keep your finger on the steering wheel,” Müller-Ötvös said.
Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.
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