Rolls Royce Car

Following its debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show earlier this year, Rolls Royce’s 102EX electric Phantom prototype has been touring the globe in order to not only gather vital data for engineers but also to gauge potential customer reaction to such a vehicle ever being launched by the bespoke British brand.Asked for feedback related to this feature, my suggestion was to offer much more Regen to facilitate true one-pedal driving during most conditions controlled in a continuously variable manner by a rotary knob instead of a two-position switch.

In lieu of classic wood paneling, the Phantom EE is fitted with casings made of aluminized woven glass strands. They look like bleached-white carbon fiber. To provide an appropriate contrast, flat areas are trimmed in a machined-texture aluminum-foil material. The net result is probably too cold and technical-looking for this clientele, but give Rolls credit for venturing down alternative avenues.

One instance where the electric challenger clearly beats the incumbent is in a passing maneuver. With a dozen cylinders to rouse and six gears to shuffle, there’s a moment’s hesitation and a slight hitch when the standard Phantom changes down to gather speed in response to a prod of the gas pedal. It’s smooth, but it doesn’t have the seamless surge forward that occurs when the electric’s accelerator is floored.

Global Collaboration on Genteel Electrification

Delving deeper into the bill of materials, I learned that Dow Kokam manufactured the 96 prismatic lithium-ion battery cells in Korea and the Scottish firm Axeon assembled them into a 1411-pound, 338-volt pack that provides a 71-kWh energy capacity and a claimed 124 miles of range.

Two levels of regeneration are offered. In the normal setting, it’s barely noticeable. In the setting labeled “low,” lifting off the accelerator provides deceleration roughly equivalent to engine braking.

What stood out most was the fact that the 100 percent battery powered Phantom drove in a manner very similar to how its internal combustion powered siblings would. That is, rather silently but with an effortless thrust one would expect from a Rolls-Royce.

Having already traveled through parts of Europe and Asia, the 102EX recently made its way to New York City where John Voelcker, our green car expect over at Green Car Reports, had the opportunity to drive it.(For reference, a Nissan Leaf’s pack holds 24 kWh.) Colorado-based UQM supplied the synchronous permanent-magnet motors, delivering a combined 389 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque to the XTrac transaxle. Another American firm—Seton—provided the experimental vegetable-tanned leather trim for the 102EX’s seats, instrument panel, doors, and floor surfaces.After a quick 20 minutes behind the wheel Voelcker was able to come away with a few initial impressions.

Exterior deviations are quite minimal. Naturally, there are no exhaust pipes. To highlight the lack of a gas cap, the filler flap is transparent, showcasing the charging connection socket and the LEDs that glow blue during charging, green when the battery is replenished, and red if some electrical issue arises. In the event a noncontact inductive charging method is used, a successful connection is indicated with a violet LED. A second set of indicators is located on the center console. The recharge ritual takes up to eight hours on 220 volts or up to 20 hours on 110 volts.

Granted, Henry Royce, like Ferdinand Porsche, first trained as an electrical engineer, but surely not even the world’s reserves of Duracells would be enough to power a 2.5-ton super limousine.In other words, all of the advantages of electric traction were already present with the exception of any CO2 savings. In well-to-wheel terms the EE produces 193g/km compared to the standard car’s tailpipe emissions of 377g/km.

Besides, what was the point? Rolls-Royce’s existing BMW-sourced 6.75-litre 453bhp/531lb ft V12 already provides the sort of down-and-dirty torque that wafts the Phantom about as if powered by the sun. And wasn’t it the 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud advertising line that ran: “At 60mph the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock”?


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