• Oct 24th 2008 at 10:56AM
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An electric Rolls Royce? Perhaps it shouldn't seem such a stretch, as electric motors deliver just the kind of punch a big, heavy limo needs to get around the city. Plus, many of these cars are used to chauffeur rich people around, meaning that top-speed wouldn't be much of a concern and neither would price. After all, the RR brand is one of the most expensive marques in the world already. Electric motors are also nearly silent, just the thing for a brand that stands for luxury and refinement. Rolls-Royce CEO Tom Purves can imagine a time where cities begin to ban the type of gas-guzzling V12 engines that the company's cars are currently powered by, so an electric powertrain may be a foregone conclusion.

Rolls Royce is currently owned by BMW, a brand that has a bit of experience with electric vehicles, having just debuted its MINI E electric car. Purves believes that between the engineers at his company and BMW, creating an electrically-driven Rolls Royce shouldn't be too tough an assignment and could be ready in short order.

[Source: CAR Magazine]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      'Aren't these cars bought by Oil Sheiks?

      I doubt they want to support alternative energy forms.'

      80Honda, actually, many Middle Eastern oil-producing nations are investing their windfall oil profits into renewable energy and clean technologies, for a variety of reasons, but looking into the future, they know their oil is limited. For example, Masdar City near Abu Dhabi is a carbon free city that just broke ground- even the electricity needed to power the construction is coming from solar- www.masdaruae.com

      An EV Rolls would be a great proving-ground for expensive EV drive technology.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Great. America has made the middle east rich by buying its oil, and now they will have the money to adopt the technologies of the future, while America is in economic depression.

      • 6 Years Ago
      They could use in wheel motors and fill the front and the back with batteries. It does not matter how much it costs because its a RR. This thing could be stupid fast and rich people would love them. I am sure this would bring down the price of the technology for all of us.
      • 6 Years Ago
      No problem with charging. The owner has a driver to take care of filling up in the carriage house.

      Also weight is also not an issue. These things already act as if they are made of solid lead.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Aren't these cars bought by Oil Sheiks?

      I doubt they want to support alternative energy forms.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually Iran is looking into running a lot of cars on natural gas - the problem is that lot of the middle east oil producing nations don't actually have much refinement capability. Iran has almost zero - the import most of their gas.

        This isn't actually a bad idea. Assuming these cars don't have to travel very far (or as the author points out, don't have to have much in the way of acceleration or speed), then they would be a perfect candidate for electrification.

      • 6 Years Ago
      Why does "begin to ban" link to an article in how the EU is demanding that government agencies buy green cars.

      I don't think governmental agencies right now are buying a lot of Phantoms, so I don't see how any regulation of this sort would affect Rolls Royce, and sure wouldn't amount to a ban.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why would RR ever make an electric car? RR's are purchased by the rich and all this while it's been big-sized engines with dreadful fuel-economy figures. Suddenly this decision? I don't think this will happen. First ask them to make more fuel efficient engines and lesser polluting ones. Then let them talk about hybrid powertrains and after that a 100% electric RR is possible.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Chris is bang on the button. Ride quality, fumes and yes, the statement the owner will make. But if that's the case, why not hydrogen-powered RR? That's more advanced which ever way you look..don't you think so?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Certainly, the typical Rolls owner isn't worried about the price of fuel, but there are other reasons why they might want a RR EV. The smooth quiet power was already mentioned. The lack of odors and exhaust fumes is another. Driving the latest technology is also appealing as another way of showing off.

        But the biggest reason why a Rolls owner might want it is to reduce oil imports, as a show of patriotism.
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