Rolls Royce has built an electric Rolls Royce Phantom – Rolls Royce 102EX – to act as a testbed for a RR EV. The Electric Phantom will debut at Geneva.
Eighteen months ago we ran a story headlined ‘Electric Rolls Royce Phantom Coming?’ after the man from Goodwood let slip at the Goodwood Revival that Rolls Royce were looking at the viability of an electric Rolls Royce.
Our first reaction was to throw our hands up in horror and declare it sacrilege, until we decided to ignore our preconceptions and prejudices and look at the benefits an electric motor could bring to a Rolls Royce.
Benefits like absolute silence – long a Rolls Royce claim, rarely a Rolls Royce reality – and huge waves of torque that arrive let a Tsunami that never ends. We had to conclude that an electric Rolls Royce was a potentially sensible route. But with big caveats.
Those caveats include a range comparable with an ICE Rolls Royce, swift recharging and total reliability regardless of weather. Actually, the same caveats that make us declare electric cars a failure as a realistic alternative to ICE cars in general.
It seems Rolls Royce sees the same benefits and the drawbacks. They’ve developed a one-off Rolls Royce Phantom – the Rolls Royce 102EX – to act as a touring testbed for electric gubbins in a Rolls Royce, and intend touring it round the world to garner feedback from Rolls Royce owners, enthusiasts, members of the public and the media.
The Rolls Royce EV 102EX will take a bow in Geneva in a week or so, but until then Rolls Royce intends to leave us in the dark about the electric gubbins they’ve planted under the Phantom’s not inconsiderable bulk.
But at least we know there’s room for something substantial.