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Rolls-Royce Abandoning Electric Cars – For Now, At Least 14
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Electric, electric cars, Kurt, News, Rolls-Royce, Rolls-Royce 102Ex on 03 14th, 2012

The Rolls-Royce 102EX electric car concept. Image: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

When Rolls-Royce showed its Phantom-based electric car concept, the 102EX, at last year’s Geneva Motor Show, it caught a lot of people off guard. Rolls-Royce, after all, had a reputation for building the finest sedans, coupes and convertibles, all equipped with ample power and built without compromise. Could an electric car be built that would meet the expectations of the worlds most critical customers?

As Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös told Car and Driver regarding customer feedback on the 102EX, “The results were ambivalent.” Customers praised the car’s acceleration, silence and smoothness, but objected to the long charging times and insufficient range. We can imagine that Rolls-Royce buyers might object to sharing quick chargers with the likes of the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi i, too.

While a pure electric car isn’t in the near future for Rolls-Royce, a plug-in hybrid (like the Chevy Volt or the Fisker Karma) might be. When asked about alternatives to electric cars, Müller-Ötvös said that the plug-in hybrid configuration could potentially offer Rolls-Royce customers “the advantages of both worlds.”

We wouldn’t install a home charging system for your next Rolls-Royce just yet, though.

Rolls-Royce To Show Electric Phantom In Geneva 22
Posted by Kurt Ernst in Automotive, Battery Electric Vehicle, Concept Vehicle, Geneva Motor Show, News, Rolls-Royce, Rolls-Royce 102Ex on 02 22nd, 2011

There are certain things in my life I consider absolutes: I never want to see Roseanne Barr naked, I’m never again going to eat Brussels sprouts, I’m never going to buy a sports car with a slushbox and Rolls-Royce should never build an electric car. Let’s be honest here: no one needs a Rolls-Royce, and the brand has always been the equivalent of a socio-economic single digit salute. They’re about as far from politically correct as an automaker can get, at least until someone builds a car that runs on spotted owls and endangered desert tortoises.

Imagine my horror, then, at reading about the Geneva debut of the Rolls-Royce 102EX. Best summed up as battery-electric version of the Phantom, the 102EX remains a design exercise only at this point. It’s purpose is to elicit customer reaction and to serve as a testbed for uber-luxury EV development. In other words, if enough potential buyers step up to the plate and say, “I want one”, the 102EX (or its progeny) could eventually see production. As for customer reaction, I sincerely hope Rolls-Royce has budgeted for deeply padded carpets and smelling salts in Geneva, because I see a lot of fur-wrapped gray hair hitting the floor at the notion of a battery powered Rolls.

It begs the question of “what next”, and that’s not a road I particularly care to go down. Why not do away with the Rolls’ Connolly leather to make the PETA crowd happy? Is burled walnut sustainable, or are we depleting a finite reserve every time a Rolls interior is hammered together? How about the sheep used to supply the wool for carpeting? Has anyone considered the trauma they go through when sheared? Shouldn’t Rolls provide counseling as part of their environmental commitment? Call me old school, but I don’t see the appeal of a battery powered, hemp upholstered Rolls with a recycled wood dash and carpeting made from old soda bottles, even if you do charge an arm and a leg for it.

Source: Autoblog