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Rolls-Royce Going Green with Plug-in Hybrid

Maker following path of rival Bentley.

by on Mar.11, 2014

Rolls-Royce abandoned the 102EX battery-car concept when potential buyers turned thumbs-down.

If you think “green” when someone mentions Rolls-Royce, you’re probably thinking about the cost of the maker’s big sedans, coupes and convertibles which can push you up and above the $500,000 in a hurry. But Rolls could add a new meaning if it goes ahead with plans to add a plug-in hybrid to its line-up.

Don’t be surprised to see one in the near future, CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos reveals – though not necessarily because Rolls elite buyers are demanding one.

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“It will be essential in two years, maybe not from customer demand but through legal regulation on emissions,” Muller-Otvos told British publication Auto Express during an interview at the Geneva Motor Show.


Rolls Pulls Plug on Battery-Powered Phantom

What if you build a car nobody wants?

by on May.21, 2012

Rolls-Royce buyers say "no" to battery power.

Don’t go looking for a production version of the battery-powered 102 EX concept vehicle at your local Rolls-Royce dealer anytime soon.  The project has quite literally come unplugged.

The British ultra-luxury maker rolled out the prototype at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show hoping to test market interest in electric propulsion but has apparently received a “thanks-but-no-thanks” response from potential buyers.

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No surprise, really.  Company officials were clearly more than a little skeptical themselves when they first revealed the Phantom-based prototype in February of last year, but with so many competitors also exploring the potential of electric drive – including Rolls’ parent BMW – it was clear that the British marque had to at least test the waters.


Rolls Explores Electric Options

Will motorists opt for a $500,000 car with 100-mile range?

by on Jul.13, 2011

Is Rolls-Royce ready to plug into battery power? The 102EX concept is serving as the anchor of a year-long feasibility study.

With U.S. regulators looking at 56 mpg fuel economy standards and their European counterparts talking about 100 mpg, where does a company like Rolls-Royce, making massive metal tanks like the Phantom, fit in?

That’s a question the British marque is desperately trying to answer as it studies response to its battery-car prototype.

A subsidiary of Germany’s BMW — which also faces challenges meeting strict new fuel economy and emissions laws — Rolls has been exploring the seemingly unlikely idea of going electric.  Its 102EX Concept made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, earlier this year.

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Considering the amount of leather and wood, never mind leather and steel, that goes into the typical Rolls-Royce, it may never win an environmental award – though it might take credit for using renewable resources and more earth-friendly methods.  The big challenge will be to reduce what comes out of the tailpipe.


Rolls-Royce Rolls Out 102EX Battery Car Concept

Green extreme machine to debut in Geneva.

by on Feb.21, 2011

Is Rolls-Royce ready to plug into battery power? The 102EX concept will serve as the anchor of a year-long feasibility study.

Rolls-Royce is taking green to the extreme with the 102EX concept car it plans to unveil at the Geneva Motor Show, early next month.

Electric propulsion is the hot topic in the auto industry, these days, but most makers are focusing on smaller vehicles that require relatively little energy – which translates into a reasonably-sized battery pack.  The 102EX goes the opposite direction, exploring the idea of using lithium-ion technology to power the nearly 3-ton Rolls-Royce Phantom sedan.

What Rolls claims will be the world’s first battery-electric ultra-premium sedan will go into a year-long pilot program to explore the potential for using alternative power for the maker’s exclusive products.

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“With this vehicle, we begin an exploration into alternative drive-trains, seeking clarity on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future,” explains Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös, speaking from the company’s headquarters in Goodwood.

Also known as the Phantom Experimental Electric, the one-off model will be used not only to test the technical viability of battery power but also to gauge the response of Rolls-Royce owners, through a series of test drives around the world.