It is inevitable that there will soon be a fully electric Rolls-Royce vehicle. But it seems that a Rolls-Royce with an electric powertrain will arrive earlier than everyone thinks. We heard that the automaker anticipates releasing the first one within several years. It’s also likely that it will be launched first in China as this is where most of the demand for this type of vehicle comes from.
Head of electric powertrains for the BMW Group, Stefan Juraschek, mentioned to Automotive News that they are looking into electrifying. He also said that to penetrate the Chinese market, automakers will have to think of electrifying different models.
Having said all that, Juraschek also stated that there has not been a final decision made for this yet, and it simply is just an idea. However, other executives have given more concrete statements about the model’s chances. If you recall, CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos said last year that “electrification is the way forward.”
The reason why there’s a wait of several years before an electrified Rolls-Royce hits the market is explained further by Christian Wettach, Phantom product manager. He said that the newest battery today can only provide 120 miles (193 kilometers) of range for the luxury sedan. Unless the technology makes at least 300 miles (483 kilometers) of range possible, Wettach thinks that an electrified version won’t be a viable option for now. With the rate of battery development, that actually isn’t so far away from now.
Since the Phantom is the company’s flagship model, it’s likely to be the first candidate to be given an electric powertrain. The company engineered the new generation’s platform to be capable of accepting EV components, according to Wettach. He mentioned in one of his interviews that the Phantom’s current twin turbocharged 6.75 liter V12 has been developed to be like an electric powertrain, with a quiet, seamless performance.
What we should not expect to see anytime soon though is a hybrid Rolls Royce. Muller-Otvos said that none of their wealthy clients seem to demand for such a product. The automaker also believes that it would be best if they wait for the EV market to mature before they explore various strategies.
As we all know, China is definitely one of the biggest markets for many international businesses, aside from the automotive industry. The huge market, population, and economy in China make it undeniably attractive to businesses.