By on October 23, 2008

CAR Magazine reports that Rolls-Royce CEO Tom Purves thinks an EV Phantom is worth looking into. “Many of our customers do small mileages exclusively in the city,” says Purves. “For these customers, an electric Rolls-Royce would be ideal.” Where did Purves come up with this wacky scheme? From Rolls-Royce’s corporate overlords at BMW, of course. Specifically, Purves recently drove the German concern’s MINI E EV and was “bowled over by it,” describing it as “superb: quiet, fast and fantastic fun.” And Purves for one thinks an EV Roller would fit in just fine with the firm’s history and branding. “We stand for unmatched refinement and you can’t get a quieter and less intrusive engine than a well engineered electric motor. Truly, the loudest noise you would hear would be the tick of the clock,” he says, referencing the time-honored Rolls marketing {gimmick} message. “We also stand for strong and instant torque – and an electric motor delivers maximum torque instantly. The ‘waftability’ would be fantastic.” Besides, emissions standards might leave Rolls with little choice but to offer a zero-emissions option. But don’t cry for future Phantom owners, as the V12 option will always be available. In fact, Purves reckons many Phantom customers would buy both – an electric Rolls for urban use and petrol Rolls for longer journeys. And why wouldn’t they?

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11 Comments on “EV Rolls-Royce Phantom: Sacrilege, The Future, Or Bad Crazyness?...”


  • avatar
    menno

    I say! Quite right, old chep.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I can’t imagine the number of batteries you’d need to move a car this massive at an appreciable rate of speed and over a reasonable distance.

  • avatar
    BuckD

    Wait, Rolls-Royce already has an EV:

    http://www.potocek.com/potocek/JOHN/JPP-Images/Puerto_Rico/PR06-Chi-Chi_golfcart.jpg

  • avatar
    geggamoya

    Not quite as blasphemous as a diesel, i’d say. Actually it would suit very nicely, plenty of torque and pretty damn quiet.

  • avatar
    maniceightball

    Seems reasonable to me considering a more self-conscious upper echelon, but they’re going to have a hell of time engineering it. Hauling around more than 2.5 tons of German/Belgian engineering is going to require equally dense batteries — something along the lines of lightweight and ultra-costly lithium polymer cells. I wouldn’t be surprised if the resultant MSRP pushed 7 figures.

  • avatar
    Detroit-Iron

    How about a gas-turbine like an M1 tank?

  • avatar

    With the electro-doodads I imagine a Rolls having, an electric model would barely go ten miles under its own power. IMHO, of course.

  • avatar
    maniceightball

    With the electro-doodads I imagine a Rolls having, an electric model would barely go ten miles under its own power

    The gadgets don’t account for much of the energy, unless you’re constantly moving your seat back and forth — and even then you’d be hard pressed to hit double-digit percentage points.

    The weight contribution of the gadgets, on the other hand, is what will kill them. That, and the super soft ride — that comes at a hefty cost; remember, dampening takes away energy that would otherwise go to rotating the wheels, to put it crudely.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    This is pure craziness. I would choke out a Rolls owner who tried to lecture me about caring for the environment before they headed back to their huge mansion or private jet. Anyone engaged in that level of conspicuous consumption should be running their car on baby seals and be proud of it. If they wanted it for the technology then they also should not be driving a Rolls.

  • avatar
    billc83

    Completely impractical, even from an impractical standpoint! Much too massive, much too massive…

    I do, however, see hope for a Rolls-Royce Phantom Hybrid!

  • avatar
    Ronman

    I think this makes complete sense.

    manufacturers are always whinning about the cost of developing a next generation propulsion unit. Rolls Royce has the clientele that is ready to pay that premium. and when it perfects it, like it does everything else, it will then have taken a chunk of the initial investment, and the rest will filter down to bmw’s mini’s and the likes, then the regular people wont have to pay the oversized premiums EV’s will have.

    besides, why not stick it to those that can afford it. i was always for the idea that filthy rich people with Super yachts big enough, could ask for a self contained energy production and propulsion system. these things are very expensive to start with, and adding 5 or 6 million dollars to a 200,000,000 dollar item is not really that much different to someone that is ready to pay that amount of money.

    so for an RR, paying 400G instead of 350 would be almost similar.

    anyway, get me an EV1 right now and i’ll use it. i only do 24Km in a working day, so really an EV would do me well, but not a Rolls Royce


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