Rolls-Royce Reflect On Heritage Ahead Of Historic EV Announcement

Rolls-Royce - EV Annoucement
Photo: James Lipman

Rolls-Royce has been reflecting on their heritage of electric power ahead of the company’s important announcement to be made on Wednesday (29 September)…

CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös has previously made no secret that Rolls-Royce would bring the first fully electric super-luxury roller to market within the current decade without fettling the odd hybrid along the way.

While just about everyone is trying their best to speculate as to what, why, how and when the luxury car-maker throws everything at EV technology, the company took the more ‘laid back’ approach inviting the media to ‘reflect on the marque’s unique heritage in electric power, which pre-dates the founding of Rolls-Royce the company itself and involves many of the principal protagonists whose names are forever associated with it‘.

Rolls-Royce - EV Annoucement

Being one of the world’s first electrical engineers, Henry Royce did set up F H Royce & Co, who initially made various small electrical appliances such as doorbells, lamps, fuses and switches. The business thrived and was soon producing larger, more complex devices including dynamos, electric motors and winches. In 1902, Royce supplied electric motors for Pritchett & Gold, a London-based battery-maker that had diversified into building electric cars.

That said, electric propulsion lost out for the same reasons we have today; namely limited range and the absence of charging infrastructure which still hasn’t been addressed a century later.

Rolls-Royce
Phantom Experimental Electric (EE), codenamed 102EX

Been there, done that

It was back in 2011 when the marque released its Phantom Experimental Electric (EE), codenamed 102EX; a fully operational and road-legal battery-electric version of its pinnacle product which although was never intended for production, did serve as a working test-bed for clients, VIPs, the media and enthusiasts to experience electric propulsion and share their experiences, thoughts and considerations directly with Rolls-Royce designers and engineers.

Rolls-Royce - EV Annoucement
Phantom Experimental Electric (EE), codenamed 102EX

The car’s 6.75-litre V12 petrol engine and gearbox were replaced with a lithium-ion battery pack and two electric motors mounted on the rear sub-frame, connected to a single-speed transmission with an integrated differential. This system gave a maximum power output of 290kW and torque of 800Nm, compared to 338kW and maximum torque of 720Nm, delivered at 3,500rpm, for the V12 Phantom of the time.

Lets simplify

With just about every manufacture waxing lyrical about electrification being the future of automotive propulsion, Rolls-Royce has decided to clarify its intentions with three simple statements which are:

  • To introduce an all-electric car this decade (2020 – 2030)
  • The car will be a pure BEV and not a hybrid of any kind
  • It will be launched only when the time is right, and every element meets Rolls-Royce’s technical, aesthetic and performance standards
In this ground-breaking endeavour, we are drawing on a remarkable heritage, unique in our industry. Our founders and those who worked alongside them in the marque’s formative years were all-important pioneers of electric power, as well as their era’s leading experts in automotive engineering. As we herald a new electric future at Rolls-Royce, I am proud and humbled to share their inspiring stories, which have never been told in one place before, and shine a fresh and fascinating light on our company’s earliest days.”

Rolls-Royce’s transition from pure ICE to EV will be revealed soon…

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