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What's Taking So Long For Rolls-Royce To Challenge Tesla?

Electric Car / 6 Comments

The brand certainly talks about it enough.

Of all the automakers rumored to be working on an electric car, none are more fascinating than Rolls-Royce. The brand has built a name on near-silent luxury cars with smooth V12 engines but an electric drivetrain could help them be even more smooth and quiet. The UK brand has been talking about building an EV for what seems like ages and the company's stance of hybrids hasn't changed - it won't build them.

Speaking more recently to Roadshow at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös reiterated that the brand will release an EV "when the time is right."

via Rolls-Royce
via Rolls-Royce
via Rolls-Royce

This timeline is extremely vague because it doesn't even provide any parameters on what Rolls-Royce is waiting for to build its EVs. It could be charge times, battery range, overall infrastructure, or any combination of the three. "We are on it," he promised. "Rest assured." So we still have no idea when the first electric Rolls-Royce will show up but we know it will not be preceded by a hybrid or plug-in hybrid.

"We need to make smart decisions on where we invest our money," Müller-Ötvös said. "It may be ok for bigger companies to go into hybrids and all sorts of different technologies, [but] we needed to make a certain decision." He also noted that "legislation will change, particularly in city centers," favoring EVs in the long-term and "Clients, particularly younger ones, are far more open for electric drives" than hybrids.

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via Rolls-Royce
via Rolls-Royce
via Rolls-Royce

When Rolls-Royce finally releases an electric car, it will likely go by a new name, rather than be a new version of an existing model. The company's Architecture of Luxury, which currently underpins the Phantom sedan and Cullinan SUV, was built to handle an electric drivetrain, so the EV will likely share a lot in common with those models. When pressed harder on when the Rolls Royce's first EV would finally arrive, Müller-Ötvös answered simply, "I'm not telling you."

via Rolls-Royce
via Rolls-Royce

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