American Marketer


Rolls-Royce drives to greener pastures with electric test vehicle

February 23, 2011


Rolls Royce creates electrically-powered luxury vehicle
Rolls-Royce creates electrically-powered luxury vehicle
Rolls-Royce is showcasing its bespoke capabilities via a luxury sedan powered purely by electricity at the prestigious Geneva Motor Show.

The Rolls-Royce 102EX fully electric-powered Phantom will tour during 2011, serving as a test bed to gather research information. This data will be crucial in informing future decisions on the production of similar Rolls-Royce vehicles.

“The Geneva Motor Show is one of the most important European auto events, when the attention of the world’s media and many Rolls-Royce owners turns to Switzerland,” said Nigel Wonnacott, product public relations manager at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, London.

“As a research project, it was important that we launched the car with as much attention as possible, to set out our rationale for the project, to prepare owners for our global tour and to encourage a wider debate,” he said.

Rolls-Royce is a subsidiary of the BMW Group. Among its customers are corporate bosses, celebrities and heads of state, such as the British queen.

The Geneva Motor Show is an annual auto show held in March. The Phantom will be formally introduced on March 1, the first day of press previews for the show.

Plug port

The 102EX, also known at the Phantom Experimental Electric (EE) is the company’s intention to test the options and reactions to alternative vehicle options.

Rolls Royce will test the vehicle on a range of stakeholders including owners, enthusiasts, members of the public and media.


Rolls-Royce's experimental electric

The vehicle will serve as an experiment for a global tour throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.

“We are taking it on a global tour to test the temperature of the marketplace,” Mr. Wonnacott said. “The idea is that the bank of research we gather will be crucial in making the right decision about a production-ready technology for the future.”

Although there are no plans to develop a production version, the vehicle will serve to begin a dialogue with existing owners and future ones.


Image of vehicle

This test drive will also answer questions including the car’s ability to deliver an acceptable range between recharges and how it operates in extreme weather conditions.

BMW, Rolls-Royce’s parent company, will introduce its latest electric concept vehicle in Geneva as well (see story.)

Electric luxury

Rolls-Royce has launched a Web site to complement the Geneva debut. The Web site, “Electric Luxury” serves as a portal to fuel a wider global debate of electric luxury vehicles.


Screengrab of global debate

The luxury brand is soliciting feedback from owners and media on the notion of “electric luxury.” It will provide views on the questions of fully-electric luxury vehicles from media, VIPs and stakeholders.

The Web site can be found at It will also deliver updates of the car’s progress while on tour.


Screengrab of Web site

“We chose to launch a Web site to ensure that we captured views from as wide an audience as possible, including enthusiasts, VIPsand anyone with an opinion about our cars or electric motoring in general,” Mr. Wonnacott said.

Final take

Electric luxury: perfection or compromise?