On March 1, 2011 at the Geneva Motor Show, the luxury vehicle maker would be unveiling its first electric-powered Rolls-Royce car. The one-off Phantom 102EX is the first fully electric powered vehicle from the British automaker. Its design specifications though are still under wraps and would be announced together with the vehicle’s unveiling in Geneva.
According to Chief Executive Officer Torsten Muller-Otvos, “We have engineered the world’s first battery electric vehicle for the ultra luxury segment.” He added, “With this vehicle, we begin an exploration into alternative drive-trains, seeking clarity on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive the Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future.”
After its unveiling, the vehicle would go on a global tour, with stops in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. The company, through its British company, Goodwood, wants to verify the opinions and reactions of Rolls Royce owners, enthusiasts, media and the general public. There are still no plans to develop a production version until the company is fully aware of the issues and concerns regarding going green. Also included in the market test would be the delivery of an acceptable range between recharges and its ability to run in extreme conditions, in line with the Rolls Royce brand quality.
Currently, the company’s flagship vehicle, the Phantom runs about fifteen miles to the gallon. In contrast, the Phantom Experimental Electric 102EX is projected to cost 2p a mile to run. The current cost of a Rolls Royce Phantom petrol car is about £300,000 while the Phantom 102EX may cost about £1,000,000.
The announcement ended two years of speculation that the luxury brand has been planning a top-secret electric model. The first confirmation was made when the company’s CEO said that the car brand is exploring “all options” for alternative fuel vehicles. The 102EX is a one off experiment hoping to find the technology that is attuned to the highbrow clientele, the brand and provides even returns for a sustainable future for both the company and the environment.
Also in preparation for the Geneva unveiling of the Phantom 102EX the company would be launching the website www.electricluxury.com as a portal for the market research needed for the vehicle. The site would also feature updates on the car’s progress and field questions regarding the tour.