Rolls-Royce to Debut Electric Phantom Concept at Geneva

BMW has the technical expertise to produce an electric Phantom, the question is why bother?

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars today confirmed the existence of the Phantom Experimental Electric, an electric Phantom concept car that will debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.

“We have engineered the world’s first battery electric vehicle for the ultra-luxury segment,” said CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos, in a statement issued at the company’s headquarters in Goodwood, United Kingdom. BMW owns Rolls-Royce, and is in the process of preparing its own electric cars.

No production plans are in place, though, for the electric Phantom.

Is the electric Phantom a publicity stunt, green wash, serious gambit or all three?

“With this vehicle, we begin an exploration into alternative drive-trains, seeking clarity on which alternative technologies may be suitable to drive Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future,” said Muller-Otvos.

The Phantom Experimental Electric will tour during 2011, and reactions to alternative drivetrain options from owners, enthusiasts, members of the public and the media will be surveyed.

Issues to be discussed surrounding the electric Phantom include the range between charges and operation in extreme weather conditions.

“I must be convinced that any alternative drivetrain we choose for the future delivers an authentic Rolls-Royce experience,” said Muller-Otvos. “It must be a technology that is right for our customers, our brand and which sets us on a sound footing for a sustainable future.”

In preparation for the electric Phantom Geneva debut, Rolls-Royce launched the website, seeking opinions on the question of electric luxury from media, VIPs and stakeholders. The site will also have updates of the car’s progress while on tour.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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