Rolls-Royce could go electric, if battery tech advances

After toying with the idea a few year ago, Rolls-Royce isn't ready to completely give up on the idea of an electric model quite yet. Still, a hyper-luxurious EV from the opulent brand might not happen any time soon.

"Suppose we find a battery technology that can offer ranges that are acceptable to our customers," brand boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös said, according to Automotive News. "I can definitely imagine a fully electric Rolls-Royce." Müller-Ötvös was clear that no final decision on an EV or even a much-rumored plug-in hybrid has been made yet.

Rumors of an EV from the brand go back years. At the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, Rolls-Royce showed that it wasn't completely against going electric. The 102EX concept (pictured above) was based on a Phantom but with two, 194-horsepower electric motors and a 71-kWh battery to power them. The company claimed the behemoth had an estimated range of 124 miles and could hit 60 miles per hour in under eight seconds. At least one journalist even got to drive it. However, the brand's wealthy customers reportedly weren't convinced, and the project was canned.

In 2014, several reports began suggesting a plug-in hybrid Rolls under development that would answer concerns about range and charging time amongst the clientele. This powertrain could debut on the next-gen Phantom around 2017, and it's likely to be borrowed from parent company BMW.

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