The Electric Phantom


   While it’s unlikely that the average Rolls-Royce owner would lose too much sleep over the soaring price of a gallon of gas, he may have more concern about the size of his carbon footprint.

102EX Rolls-Royce Phantom

   So it makes sense that the folks at Rolls-Royce have started to give some serious thought to alternative power sources. Like electricity.

   At last week’s Geneva auto show – that’s Geneva, Switzerland, not Wisconsin – Rolls-Royce unveiled a battery-powered Phantom experimental model, code-named 102EX.

   As you’d expect from a Rolls, everything is on a supersize-me scale. Which is why in place of the car’s V12 gasoline engine, this electric Roller comes with a massive 1,400-pound battery pack under the hood.

Howard Walker - Rolls Royce Phantom 102EX

   The pack itself is made up of around 1,000 highly-advanced Lithium-Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese-Oxide (NCM) laptop batteries. Charging using your home 110-volt outlet would take around 20 hours. With three-phase 220-volt wiring – the same as your washer-dryer – the time drops to around eight hours.

   Rolls-Royce reckons the power pack would produce the equivalent of around 388-horsepower, with all this electricity juicing a couple of XXL-sized electric motors at the rear.

   What the company is not saying, however, is how much range the batteries would give, though it’s likely to be somewhere between 70 and 100 miles.

Rolls-Royce Phantom 102EX - Howard Walker

   Right now there are no firm plans to put the electric Phantom into production. Rolls, however, say the prototype will soon go on a global tour so that current owners, prospects and the odd press person can drive it and give feedback.

   To me, it makes a lot of sense. Firstly, chances are there’ll be a chauffeur to always make sure the batteries are charged up. And, if for some reason, the Roller runs low on juice, he can always take the Bentley.


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