Experimental Rolls-Royce 102EX Electric
Rolls-Royce revealed to Auto Express that while a pure electric vehicle is "something very true to the brand," a plug-in hybrid Rolls-Royce is coming first.
A BEV may someday be in the cards for Rolls-Royce, but first up within two year's time is a plug-in hybrid.
Richard Collar, Head of Bespoke Sales and Marketing for Rolls-Royce, stated:
“We look at all the trends, the trend for hybrid and electric vehicles but the question we have to ask is, is this something our customers want?”
What Rolls-Royce customers don't want is a short-range electric vehicle, but those customers do like electrification. As Collar explained:
“We took their feedback very seriously and all our customers loved it. The electric powertrain is something very true to Rolls Royce, it’s effortless, there’s huge amounts of torque and it is perfectly quiet.”
Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos stated that a plug-in hybrid Rolls "will be essential within two years," which to us implies that Rolls-Royce thinks it's sort of being forced to develop a plug in.
BMW Group owns Rolls-Royce, so much of the development for a plug-in hybrid powertrain has been completed. It's believed some form of the BMW i8 plug-in system will find its way into a Rolls-Royce, perhaps with even more power on tap though to make up for the added heft of the future PHEV Rolls.