And the luxury automaker is looking back at its electric past to celebrate the future.
While much of the automotive world is begrudgingly making the switch to electrification, one luxury automaker has always championed the idea. We're speaking about Rolls-Royce. As you might know, the British carmaker doesn't currently offer any electric vehicles. But way back in 1900 when engineers and manufacturers were figuring out whether to go with the internal combustion engine, steam power, or electricity, company co-founder Charles Royce foresaw the advantages of electric propulsion for a luxury automaker, and with the benefit of hindsight, we can now see just how prophetic the visionary engineer's words were, despite having been spoken more than a century ago. The company has now teased that the dawn of a new electric era is coming, and we'll get our first look at it on September 29, suggesting that we'll either see a new electric concept, or perhaps the electric platform that will underpin the future model.
But before revealing details of the next generation, Rolls-Royce is taking us on a stroll down memory lane, highlighting how the brand championed electrification a century ago.
In an interview with The Motor-Car Journal in April of 1900, Rolls explained why he felt that electric cars were almost perfect.
"The electric car is perfectly noiseless and clean. There is no smell or vibration, and they should become very useful when fixed charging stations can be arranged. But for now, I do not anticipate that they will be very serviceable - at least for many years to come."
As a man of action, Rolls provided a charging station at his car showroom in Fulham, England for the private or rentable electric Broughams that were proving popular at the time.
In 1904, Rolls would agree to become the agent for the Contal Electromobile, but on meeting his future co-founder Sir Henry Royce and seeing what he had built, Rolls canceled the agreement.
Rolls and Royce would become forever intertwined, creating the company that would give us masterpieces like the Phantom and the now-dead two-door duo of the Wraith and the Dawn. Sadly, neither man would live to build a viable production electric vehicle, but 120 years on from Rolls' prophetic words, the electric RR is finally on the way.
With effortless torque, near-silent driving, and swathes of power, Rolls-Royce's future EV will become the benchmark of electric luxury. The Rolls-Royce EV, which will be called the Silent Shadow, doesn't have a firm arrival date, with the automaker only stating before that it will arrive sometime this decade. The brand says the car will arrive "when the time is right" and only when "every element meets Rolls-Royce's technical, aesthetic and performance standards."
We doubt that moment is right now, but we suspect the first piece of the puzzle revealed tomorrow will be exciting.