Rolls-Royce’s CEO, Torsten Muller-Otvos, talked with Lou Ann Hammond, CEO, www.drivingthenation.com, at the 2011 Geneva Auto show about whether Rolls-Royce customers would be interested in a Rolls-Royce electric vehicle.
“Today, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars begins an exploration into alternative drive-trains, seeking clarity on which technology may be suitable to drive Rolls-Royce motor cars of the future. The alternative drive-train we choose must deliver an authentic Rolls-Royce experience. 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. That is why this project is so important.” CEO Torsten Muller-Otvos.
The Rolls-Royce Motor Cars 102EX is the first exploration for Rolls-Royce into the alternative energy. What are the differences between an electric car and a twelve-cylinder Rolls-Royce in weight, charging, and range?
According to Rolls-Royce:
Phantom EE features the cars ground-breaking aluminum spaceframe, so essential to dynamic prowess, as well as the sense of calm and tranquillity enjoyed by occupants. However, the naturally aspirated 6.75-litre V12 petrol engine and 6-speed gearbox have been replaced by a lithium-ion battery pack and two electric motors mounted on the rear sub-frame. These motors are connected to a single speed transmission with integrated differential.
Each motor is power rated to 145kW, giving Phantom EE a maximum power output of 290kW and torque of 800Nm available over a wide band. This electric vehicle compares with 338kW for standard Phantom with maximum torque of 720Nm, delivered at 3,500rpm.
The Nickel Cobalt Manganese battery chemistry holds around 230Wh/kg, a high energy density which is important in achieving an acceptable range between re-charges. Pre-launch tests suggest Phantom EE should run to a range of up to 200km. Delivered on an effortless wave of torque, the Phantom 0-60mph will be achieved in under eight seconds (5.7 seconds in standard Phantom), with a top speed limited to 160kph.
This is the first application of the technology in a GKL++ segment (super luxury vehicles priced at more than $200,000), and the battery pack is thought to be the largest ever fitted to a road car.
Evaluation of technology is an important part of the test program. Howe’ver, more fundamentally the car will seek answers to questions posed of Rolls-Royce owners: what their needs might be for the future considering factors such as range, performance, and re-charging infrastructure.
The feedback from customers “ as well as media, stakeholders, and enthusiasts via the website www.electricluxury.com – will prove essential in evaluating the appropriateness of battery electric technology for Rolls-Royce.
Chemistry NCM (Lithium-Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese-Oxide) li-ion
Number of cells 96 in pouch design
Battery pack weight 640 kg
Peak current 330 kW at 850 Amps
Charge time (est) 20 hours single phase / 8 hours three-phase