Rolls-Royce kills the electric Phantom

Article by Christian A., on May 21, 2012

It seems that the world is not prepared for luxury electric vehicles yet as Rolls-Royce just pulled the plug on its electric Phantom. Dubbed 102 EX, this will remain only a concept as none of the current Rolls-Royce customers wants it. Although the 102 EX Concept was quieter, offered a smoother ride and didn’t produce any CO2 emissions, it appears that the wealthy buyers want something else.

Although, the maximum range of 100 miles (160 km) might be a good reason. According to a Rolls-Royce employee, customers that own this type of cars also have private jets and for them a vehicle that offers a range of less than 100 miles is out of the question.

Most of them consider electric cars just another golf cart. So, there was simply no interest for the poor 102 EX a.k.a. electric Phantom. Over 500 people drove the big electric car which carried a 1452-pound battery pack in the place of the engine.

What is more interesting is that Rolls-Royce customers love the V12 petrol engine currently found on the Phantom. The good news is that Torsten Muller-Otvos a.k.a. Rolls-Royce CEO believes that the company needs to look into alternative drivetrains. This hints at a hybrid Rolls-Royce, which could be a solution, offering an EV mode, but also a big V12.

Phantom EE is the newest and latest in Rolls-Royce’s line of experimental vehicles. The car builds on the carmaker’s legacy that dates back to 1919 and on 1EX.

Rolls-Royce uses experimental models to test and to evaluate new applications and technologies that could shape its future products. These experimental models, unlike concept cars, are always fully functioning. They are drivable vehicles that use tangible materials such as metals, wood, and leather, instead of foam, clay, and other concepts. They give designers and engineers real-world innovation opportunities and they are not just used to showcase new engineering techniques and new components but they are also used to evaluate these.

The latest in Rolls-Royce’s line of experimental projects started with the Phantom, which was an immaculately proportioned and strikingly modern car that combined hand-craftsmanship and high technology to create something out of the ordinary.

Phantom EE boasts its predecessor’s ground-breaking aluminium spaceframe, dynamic prowess, and sense of calm that passengers get to enjoy. However, the Phantom’s naturally aspirated 6.75-liter V12 petrol engine and its 6-speed gearbox are replaced with a lithium-ion battery and two electric motors that are mounted on the sub-frame at the rear and that are connected to the single-speed transmission with an integrated differential.

Each of these motors is power-rated to 145kW, therefore giving the Phantom EE a power output of up to 290kW and a torque of 800Nm that’s available over wide band. These figures compare with the power 338kW delivered by the Phantom with a 720Nm maximum torque that is delivered at 3,500rpm.

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