Rolls-Royce has always represented the very best if you want a luxury car, offering unrivalled opulence at a price set to terrify your bank manager. No company comes close to isolating noise, vibration and harshness from their cars in the same manner as a Rolls, and despite offering huge power from disturbingly large engines, cars like the Phantom are eerily quiet.
The Phantom is the ultimate car to turn into an eco-barge, however, and there are several reasons why Rolls-Royce is looking into electric power for its ultimate road car.
First off, an electric Roller will be considerably more environmentally friendly – with petrol versions dipping into single figured mpg on frequent occasions. The Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX – or Experimental Electric – is the first modern Roller to ditch the regular combustion engine, and gets two electric motors and 96 rechargeable batteries in its place.
The instant torque on offer from an electric motor is perfectly suited to the Phantom, promising commanding performance and effortless wafting abilities. You may only get 124 miles out of a single charge, but the ability for electric vehicles to dodge the congestion charge means we can easily imagine the Phantom 102EX becoming a firm favourite for high-flying directors wanting to move around London.
Whether electric power turns out to be the energy resource of the future remains to be seen, however. Andrew Martin, Chief Engineer of the 102EX points out: “A fully electric vehicle is one solution to an alternative powertrain. Whether it’s the right solution at this stage nobody really knows. The other really important thing was to enable people to make a direct comparison. You can compare the existing V12, and then walk into our electric car, and you can see what the differences are.”
Unfortunately, the Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX is currently only a prototype, and it carries a hefty price tag, at £570,000. Still, at least you won’t have to pay the congestion charge.