Rolls-Royce CEO Says No To Pure Electric – “A Rolls-Royce Can’t Be A Compromise”

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 30

Experimental Rolls-Royce 102EX Electric

Experimental Rolls-Royce 102EX Electric

Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce

“Don’t count on seeing an electric Rolls-Royce anytime soon.”

States USA Today.

The reason?  Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos claims that electric vehicles involve a “compromise” and that’s not in the interest of the brand.  Or, to put it a different way, Rolls-Royce doesn’t compromise in making automobiles.

Muller-Otvos stated:

“A Rolls-Royce can’t be a compromise.”

The Rolls-Royce CEO says that the “compromise” for electric vehicles right now it long recharging times and the fact that it must be plugged in.  A BEV Rolls-Royce would charge inductively if the automaker decided to green light an electric.

A pure electric may be out for now, but Rolls-Royce sees no issues (make that compromises) with a PHEV.  Even that’s likely 3 or 4 years away for Rolls-Royce though.

Source: USA Today

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30 responses to "Rolls-Royce CEO Says No To Pure Electric – “A Rolls-Royce Can’t Be A Compromise”"

  1. GSP says:

    Sigh. Such little vision. Range and recharge time have technical solutions. Just look at where Tesla is today, much less 3-4 years from now.

    Gas vehicles are more compromised. They must be driven to a gas station and fueled. Not to mention the noise and vibration from a reciprocating piston engine, perceivable even in a Rolls.

    GSP

    1. Alok says:

      Funny…

      To me, with current technology, the only no-compromise car is a long range BEV with Supercharger (or similar network) access.

      Hope they know what their customers prefer.

      So, by 2020, millions will be driving long range BEVs, and the poor RR customers will have to drive a compromise smelly and polluting PHEV. Ah ah

      Or… RR management will be changed before that happens… We’ll see…

      1. Alok says:

        For completeness, I have to add that, from a customer’s comfort point of view, and not going into other aspects of it, a FCEV with a dense network of H stations is even better: e-drive and short filling time.

        1. Alok says:

          But, somehow, to have that pressurized tank on-board… Even if the H was all from renewable sources and using electricity that would have otherwise gone unused (from peak solar or wind…), I don’t like that.
          Feeling-wise…

          1. Hydrogen does not exist in its pure form here on earth for a very good reason.

            Hydrogen will never be viable for fuel cell cars. There is no hydrogen infrastructure, and there are very good reasons for this, too.

      2. Jouni Valkonen says:

        I think that the basic problem is that most of the customers are as lost as established car manufacturers with electric car technology.

        Long range electric cars are already cheapest cars available. They are even cheaper than short range EVs, because with long range battery, it is a no problem to drive more than one million km with single battery pack. The trick is that if the lithium-ion battery is stored in cool temperature (<20ºC) with charge level that is between 30 to 60 %, there virtually is no cycling related battery degradation.

        Therefore it is possible to have more than 5 000 charging cycles or total range more than a million miles. Therefore if we factor in the fuel savings for one million miles, it is plenty of more than the cost of 400 mile ranged battery pack.

    2. Jouni Valkonen says:

      Indeed, the kicking and screaming against electric cars by the established car manufacturers, is starting to look just sad. It would be no problem for Tesla to borrow Supercharging network for Rolls-Royce.

      But, better for Tesla and Elon Musk who will become probably the richest man in the world.

  2. James Haberberger says:

    who cares, only a handful of people in the world can afford a rolls Royce. It is a symbol of the greedy wealth of the 1%, money that would have been better spent on creating jobs or fighting poverty.

    1. David Murray says:

      I was going to say something similar… Their market share is so small it doesn’t really bother me much. Tesla is the new premium brand to have anyway. Rolls-Royce is a symbol of the past IMO.

  3. Well... says:

    people who can afford a Rolls Royce have no problems paying for gasoline.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      Better said, people who can afford a Rolls-Royce have no problems paying for batteries.

      This is the reason why Tesla is racing to become the leading premium car brand in the world. Gasoline cars are for the poor folks, electric cars are reserved for the affluent.

    2. Priusmaniac says:

      But they do have problems with getting cancer from it, as anybody else.

  4. Mark C says:

    The RR customer probably doesn’t gas the car anyway. They would just have their hired help do that. Wouldn’t want to get dirt under their fingernails or be seen at a gas station performing such a mundane task.

    However, if they could plug it in, well, they could do that inside their garage and not let anyone know they stooped to manual labor. HAHAHAHAHAHA

  5. Jouni Valkonen says:

    I guess that basically Rolls-Royce here just admitted that the parent company, BMW, just cannot manufacture an EV battery that has 500 mile range and still acceptable weight.

    It would not be a problem for Tesla to build a 500 mile battery for RR sized car with current technology. Tesla is already considering 500 mile range battery for Model S in near future when they will get next generation battery into production.

  6. MDEV says:

    With the price of RR they can fit a 160 Kw/h, battery and the “compromise” is gone. In fact they can charge 100K more and the 1% folks that can afford this car will be happy to have it.

  7. Mike says:

    Do you like drought? High Food Prices, because Ignoring climate change is how you get both.

    1. Anon says:

      Cost is an interesting thing to consider, when you pay at the pump for gasoline, diesel or hydrogen from hydrocarbon sources. Few consider the consequences of higher food costs, home insurance, less agricultural choice at the grocery store, less global biodiversity, more human deaths and cancer from polluted air, etc..

      We’re already past the saturation point in the atmosphere, where the oceans and plants can no longer uptake further amounts of carbon. From this point forwards, an accelerated jump to future unpleasantness on this planet, is coming sooner than most expected…

      Enjoy your fill up.

  8. Bill Howland says:

    Methinks the CEO is dismissing Electric Vehicles a bit too cavalierly. After all, it is the RICH who were the early adopters of geothermal heating and Solar Panels, mainly due to the huge upfront costs such endeavors used to require.

    The cost of those has now come down to the point where Middle Class people can afford to experiment a bit with them, so RR’s current attitude is a bit disappointing seeing as their experimental electric actually had a reasonable driving range (around 160 miles if memory serves), had plenty of power, and the cost of the batteries didn’t matter since this is a Rolls.

    The cars are physically large enough (and If RR had to come out with a ‘stretch’ version to accomdate 400-600 miles worth of battery, so what?)that there would be no space constraints to the range a Rolls could have.

    The rich would PAY to have something no one else can have. Right now, they are making more or less conventional vehicles, and they are depending people to buy the Rolls marque due to quality, fit and finish.

    How about giving their advertising teams a car that could be obtained from NO OTHER MARQUE, namely a totally electric vehicle (which would not dirty the air in London in the slightest), give spirited performance, and had a 400-600 mile range.

    When you’re the only company that offers extended features available from on other company, those interested in such a vehicle HAVE to purchase it from you only.

    Hence, the CEO’s lack of vision is costing Rolls Royce both sales, and profitability.

  9. ffbj says:

    A staid old British company that makes fossil fuel engines. They have no inclination to make an ev. ‘You will get the gas pump nozzle out of my hands when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.’ Is their take.

  10. Priusmaniac says:

    Anyway Rolls Royce is the kind of brand that has such an exclusive fit to customer service that any billionaire that seriously ask for a 102EX will probably get one, be it with induction charging or else.
    I guess if the Queen ask one next year, Torsten Muller-Otvos will say we always had it on our sales list.

  11. Leptoquark says:

    “A Rolls-Royce can’t be a compromise.”

    It all depends on how you look at it. Maybe the Rolls-Royce up to now has actually been a compromise, and an electric version would be a liberation.

  12. kdawg says:

    I wonder if when cars were invented, the fancy horse drawn carriage people said the same thing.

    “Our horses are’t compromised by having to put gasoline in them. They just eat hay when they are hungry.”

  13. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Such a shame, given how the original Silver Ghost was such an innovation, and Henry Royce’s pride in engineering.

    I think a RR EREV with a gas turbine range extender would be an ideal way to demonstrate technological progress that’s entirely in keeping with RR’s history. Heck, source the turbines from the Rolls-Royce aerospace business!

    Frickin’ Germans…

    1. Aaron says:

      I came here to say that. The Rolls Royce is the perfect platform for an EREV setup. Plenty of room for a battery pack under the floor; a large engine bay, perfect for keeping a small ICE quiet.

      Electric motors will provide plenty of torque and very smooth acceleration.

  14. EV says:

    But a Rolls Royce is already compromise

  15. Stephen says:

    If I were a mega-rich chauffered type I would be demanding an elecric limo.

  16. evnow says:

    How is polluting to move not a compromise ?

  17. Nix says:

    I don’t have any problem with BMW’s Rolls-Royce division not building an EV. A bloated, overpriced Rolls-Royce EV is about the last thing the EV market needs right now.

    BMW should put their EV development dollars into electric Mini’s that can be sold at a lower price point than the BMW i3 and i8, and focus on increasing the range of the i3. That is what the EV market needs, not a Rolls-Royce EV.

    This is one of those “Thank You for Smoking” moments, where doing the wrong thing is actually the right thing for BMW to do.

    1. Jouni Valkonen says:

      I disagree with you. I think that electric cars should be perceived as high profile luxury items, that literally do not make any compromises with performance, comfort and safety. Electric cars should be objects of desire rather than just cars that can transport you from point A to point B within city limits.

  18. EVStickers says:

    Accepting standards that are lower than is desirable = a definition of compromise… could that be what he meant? Sounds stubborn, sheepish, and afraid of taking on a real challenge: pushing EV technologies forward. These comments reflect on the industry as a whole and totally tarnishes this brand to me. It makes it sound like any other soon-to-be antiquated ICE Age brand. I guess they don’t really care what us youngsters think.