Charles Rolls and Henry Royce envisioned a future of electric cars when they first formed the Rolls-Royce company in 1904, and their vision will finally be realized when their first EV is announced this week.
While the super-luxury car maker has produced EV concepts in the past, a ‘historic announcement’ due on September 29 promises to reveal the next chapter in this story. CEO, Torsten Müller-Ötvös has pledged to bring an electric vehicle to the range by 2030 and that it would be fully electric rather than any form of hybrid.
The Phantom EE (102EX) was a concept car produced by the company in 2011 but was never intended for production – purely a taster of what is to come. This was followed by a more extreme-looking concept, known as Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 (103EX), in 2016. It’s clear that Rolls-Royce is taking its time with this and will only release an EV when it feels it can live up to the firm’s incredibly high standard.
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Rolls-Royce has a few benefits over other manufacturers when it comes to electric car production. Firstly, its cars have been traditionally big and heavy, designed for gentle cruising rather than performance. This means that the often-weighty batteries used for EVs can be plentiful without the worry of keeping the total weigh down (at least, not to the levels of a regular sedan). In turn, this would allow a generous range to be achieved for the Rolls-Royce EV – perhaps even as high as 500 miles.
The second benefit is price. Rolls-Royce cars aren’t cheap and that’s down to their premium construction. While some manufacturers may risk losing money on early EV models, the Rolls-Royce EV is likely to price high enough to cover production costs and deliver only the very best components at the same time.
While we are unlikely to see a finished model this week, we are likely to gain more insight into what the electric Rolls-Royce will bring to the market. We could even get some early designs as to how the car will look. Will we see a more traditional design like the 102EX or a futuristic take on a luxury car, like the 103EX.