Click above for high-res gallery of RR Phantom in the Autoblog garage
Short of the biggest SUVs, Rolls-Royce stands out in the mind of the eco-conscious public as a symbol of earth-munching decadence. But that may change if Tom Purves has anything to say about it. And he does, being the company's new CEO. Bringing in a fresh perspective to the ultimate luxury brand after taking the helm just a few months ago, Purves recently drove sister-company MINI's new electric vehicle, and a lightbulb aptly lit over his head with the idea to create an electric Phantom. Not a hybrid, but a full megawatt-powered limousine.
The way Purves sees it, we're not far away from cities banning polluting vehicles altogether. And as many Rolls-Royce owners live in major metropolitan centers, an electric Rolls makes perfect sense. With a little help from parent company BMW, Purves figures they could engineer the e-Rolls in-house. And far from betraying the Spirit of Ecstasy, Purves says an electric powertrain would offer the epitome of Rolls-Royce motoring – whisper quiet with instant torque delivery. Realization of the battery-powered Phantom is probably still a few years away, but it could be here sooner than we think.