Rolls-Royce Electric Phantom Canceled

Launched at the Geneva Motor Show last year as a marketing exercise, the Rolls- Royce 102 EX electric vehicle program has now been officially shelved.

The reason? After being sampled by more than 500 people across the globe, feedback from existing Rolls customers and those in the market for bespoke luxury sedans was essentially unanimous – they didn’t want it.

Rolls-Royce understandably took a great deal of pride in putting together this car, a machine that, utilizing a 1,452 pound battery pack and twin electric motors elevated the concept of whisper quiet refinement and effortless acceleration to the next level. Sadly, a real world range of less than 100 miles and a charging time of approximately eight hours were deemed “unacceptable,” by customers, for this class of car according to Rolls’ CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös.

In fact, despite these lean times, those who have it apparently still want to flaunt it, meaning there is still a ready market for big V12 gasoline engines in this segment. “People love 12 cylinders,” said Müller-Ötvös in an interview with Motor Trend’s Jonny Lieberman. Even arch rival Bentley is actively promoting 12-cylinder engines, CEO Wolfgang Durheimer not only declaring that “12 cylinder technology is sexy,” but that “I’m quite sure we will find customers that appreciate it.”

That said, despite feedback from Rolls customers regarding the 102 EX Müller-Ötvös isn’t ruling out alternative propulsion for future Rolls-Royce models, it’s just that when a new application manifests itself it likely won’t be pure electric.

“I’m a clear believer that Rolls-Royce needs to look into alternative drivetrains,” remarked the Rolls-Royce CEO. “But I desperately want to make sure I have all customer insights into the project to make sure we understand the customer’s desire.”

Can you say plug-in hybrid?

Motor Trend


  • MrEnergyCzar

    I would imagine people that own these don’t want to be reminded of their massive energy footprints they have….plugging in the Rolls would be a daily reminder..

    MrEnergyCzar

  • Capt. Concernicus

    No one with the kind of money it takes to buy a Rolls remotely interested in the mpg’s of their car as evident by the survey that was taken.

    I guess Rolls rolled the dice and lost this round.

  • perfectapproach

    “…a real world range of less than 100 miles and a charging time of approximately eight hours were deemed “unacceptable,” by customers…”

    This is unacceptable in my book too. I don’t think it has as much to do with the “kind” of buyer as it is being made out to seem. 8 hours charge time and 100 mile range is unacceptable to me too. This is why I won’t purchase a Nissan Leaf.

    Now, equipping a V-12… THAT has everything to do with the “kind” of buyer. And if I could afford a V-12 RR, I certainly would purchase one. And if in some fantasy land there were an electric platform that could take a RR from 0-60mph in 5 ish seconds, run for 300+ miles, and charge in 4 hours, I’d be interested.

  • cld

    “…8 hours charge time and 100 mile range is unacceptable to me too…”

    Well, it’s acceptable to me at least 5 days a week every week. At least it has been for the two and a half years I’ve driven my ZENN to work and back. I know that there will always be people that need to go more than 100 miles a day. I did it for a year when I commuted 130 miles to work and back. But according to the U.S. DOT, that’s the 95th percentile (http://www.pluginamerica.org/faq/general-question#t39n89). The 80th percentile is 50 miles or less per day.

    I would encourage everyone to not get stuck in an outdated paradigm. We don’t have to go 400 miles then refuel in 5 minutes most of the time. And yes, I understand that there will always be cases when you will have to go 100 miles or more. That’s where plug-in hybrids, hybrids, diesels, etc… come in to play. If you can’t afford a second car, or you can’t afford to rent a car on the occasions when you need the 100 miles, then fine: don’t buy an EV. But I would think about how you really drive before you make a decision to rule out EV’s.

  • dutchinchicago

    @perfectapproach

    “And if in some fantasy land there were an electric platform that could take a RR from 0-60mph in 5 ish seconds, run for 300+ miles, and charge in 4 hours, I’d be interested.”

    Tesla Roadster:
    0-60 3.7 sec
    245 Range

    Tesla Model S performance:
    0-60 4.4 sec
    300 Range

    Looks like you will be buying a model S. Anything else on your wish list? A rocket maybe to travel to the space station?

  • Nahla

    Launched at the Geneva Motor Show last year as a marketing exercise, the Rolls- Royce 102 EX electric vehicle program has now been officially shelved.The reason? After being sampled by more than 500 people across the globe, feedback from existing Rolls customers and those in the market for bespoke luxury sedans was essentially unanimous – they didn’t want it.Read more