Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has introduced the 102EX -- the first battery-powered electric vehicle ever to be made available in the ultra-luxury segment. The 102EX, which will be known as the Phantom Experimental Electric (EE), represents the carmaker’s plans to test the opinions and reactions of vehicle owners, enthusiasts, the public and the media to alternative drive-train options.
When launched, the Phantom EE will be the latest in a line of experimental vehicles from Rolls-Royce and will primarily serve as a test bed to explore established BEV technologies.
The experimental vehicle would provide owners, enthusiasts and VIPs, and the media an opportunity to experience Rolls-Royce’s alternative drive-train technology, giving them a chance to tell the carmaker about their experiences and concerns over the new vehicle.
The test program will cover Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America. For now, Rolls-Royce has no plans to build a production version of the Phantom EE.
During the test program, the carmakers expect to answer certain questions like the acceptable range of the Phantom EE on a single charge and the confidence of customers in the car’s ability to run in extreme conditions as well as concerns about its reliability and quality.
Likewise, the program should answer whether an all-electric drivetrain will be able to deliver an authentic Rolls-Royce experience for customers. While one important aspect of the program is the evaluation of technology, the automaker will try to determine the future need of Rolls-Royce customers considering factors like travel range, performance and recharging infrastructure.
The feedback of customers will be crucial in evaluating its relevance for Rolls-Royce. It will also help the carmaker determine whether the technology or another alternative will be suitable for its cars in the future.
The test program will be completed at the end of the year. It has been a Rolls-Royce tradition to use experimental models to test and evaluate new technologies and applications that might help determine future products. The carmaker’s experimental vehicles are not like concept cars, since these models are fully functioning ready-to-drive vehicles. They are also made of tangible materials like wood, metals and leather and not from clay and foam.
These experimental models provide the carmaker’s engineers and designers with a chance to implement real-world innovation while showcasing new components and engineering techniques. The Phantom EE was derived from the Rolls-Royce Phantom, which is one of the carmaker’s most modern models blessed with high technology and excellent hand-craftsmanship.
Just like the Phantom, the Phantom EE features an aluminum spaceframe that provides a sense of calmness to passengers. However, unlike the Phantom that is powered by a naturally aspirated 6.75-liter V12 petrol engine mate to a six-speed gearbox, the Phantom EE features a battery pack powering two electric motors located on the rear sub-frame.
Also, each of the motors provides 145kW in output, which means that they provide a combined max output of 290kW and torque of 800Nm available over a wide band. On the other hand, the V12 on the Phantom develops 338kW of output 720Nm of torque at 3,500rpm.
Additionally, the motors of the Phantom EE are linked to a single speed transmission with integrated differential. At the heart of the Phantom EE is a Nickel Cobalt Manganese battery that boasts of a high-density power measuring 230Wh/kg, which means that the car could run a longer distance before needing to re-charge.
Pre-launch figures peg the Phantom EE’s range at up to 200km and its acceleration from zero to 60 at under eight seconds.
Top speed, meanwhile, is limited to 160 km/h. The Phantom EE marks the first application of the battery electric technology in a GKL++ segment, which includes super luxury vehicles tagged at over €200,000. Likewise, the Phantom EE’s battery pack is believed to be the largest ever equipped on a road-going vehicle.