I’m fairly turned off to infographics these days, as many are simply a lot of colors and squiggly lines with little substance. However, some really good ones come across my desk from time to time. Thanks to a good friend, Amber Archangel, I’ve got a great one to share. The infographic was created for Car Leasing Made Simple, and is full of very interesting stats and charts about the top electric car countries and the top electric cars. Here’s the infographic, with more commentary below it:
In just five years of stewardship, BMW has quadrupled sales of the Rolls-Royce brand, which is in the process of engineering a next generation of super-luxury vehicles. There had been talk of building an all-electric or diesel model to comply with European emissions standards, but those plans have been dropped in favor of a BMW-sourced hybrid drivetrain, reports AutoCar.
The Rolls-Royce 102EX prototype was the automaker’s first jab at an all-electric rolls with a sizable 71 kWh battery pack and a pair of 145 kW electric motors that spun out nearly 400 horsepower and 599 lb-ft of torque back in 2011. But during a twelve-month world tour, not a single customer expressed interest in an uber-luxury sedan with limited range and a long charging time.
Customer tastes also killed off a potential diesel Rolls-Royce, despite the fact that it would have been a cost effective means of meeting European emissions standards. Instead, Rolls will adopt a plug-in hybrid drivetrain from parent company BMW for both the next-generation Phantom and the not-yet-named SUV model. There is however the possibility of using carbon fiber to make bespoke models for interested buyers, using the same super-limited edition model Bugatti has popularized.
Customer tastes might seem like a silly reason to kill a car, but for a company that is on pace to sell a record-breaking 4,000 cars this year, every customer counts. Yet those 4,000 customers will net Rolls an estimated profit of £500 million, or about $813 million this year, a profit of about $200,000 per car they sell.
When customers are paying that much of a premium for a car, you can’t do enough to make them happy. That means no diesel and no electric Rolls for now, leaving plug-in hybrids to lead the way forward for the legendary luxury automaker.
Big, bold, British luxury car maker Rolls-Royce is putting the next-generation Phantom on a strict diet and plug-in hybrid workout plan. Image is everything after all, and these days it’s in vogue to at least look like you give a damn about the planet’s environmental woes.
Set to launch in three years, the next Rolls-Royce Phantom will look different, and offer both traditional V12 power and a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The optional plug-in hybrid will likely slot above the powerful V12, if Rolls has any wit about them. The performance potential of a budget-be-damned plug-in hybrid luxury sedan, and such a car could make even the most adrant oil baron a believer in hybrid technology.
If Rolls wants to achieve even a modicum of efficiency though, the Phantom will have to go on a serious diet, as the current car comes in at a massive 5,710 pounds. Put an average couple in there, and you’re looking at a three-ton car…and this is with a lightweight aluminum space frame! Parent company BMW is said to be considering a carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) body shell to shed some of that excess weight. The Phantom is a prime candidate for CFRP, especially with BMW tripling output at its carbon fiber factory.
There’s also talk of a pure electric phantom, and with a drastic weight reduction, the next Phantom could dip below 5,000 pounds, not far from where the Tesla Model S sits. With a big-enough battery (made possible by a big price tag), an electric Rolls-Royce could make sense. Right now though, there are too many “ifs”, and with and plug-in hybrid model almost a certainty, I won’t hold my breath waiting for an electric Rolls.
Why would a company create a functioning electric car, only to announce they’ll never build it? You’d have to ask Rolls-Royce, as they have done just that with an all-electric version of their Rolls-Royce Phantom. Based on the Phantom ultra-luxury car, which was originally equipped with a V12 engine, window curtains, dining tables in the back, suicide doors, brisk acceleration, and much more, Rolls-Royce executives has stated this car will never see production…but that doesn’t make it any less cool.
This silent, smooth, prominent, and ultra-high end electric Rolls-Royce had many in awe back when it debuted at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show, and Rolls trotted the car back out recently to show off a new innovation; wireless charging. It is equipped with a 74 kWh battery bank (large enough to power 24 average American homes for one hour) that can be charged wirelessly with a Qualcomm system. Range is said to be around 120 miles, or about 200 kilometers, depending on how aggressively you drive.
Powering this 3.5 ton road behemoth is a 389 HP electric motor that generates 589 foot-pounds of torque, which is 59 ft-lbs more torque than the 6.8 liter V12 it was originally equipped with. That is enough torque to allow this huge luxury car to accelerate from 0-60 mphy mph in less than 8 seconds, which isn’t terribly fast compared to most cars. However, given the size of the Rolls Royce Phantom, that is downright respectable.
While a huge electric luxury car isn’t on everybody’s wish list, it’s nice to know it exists as a mobile test bed for a company better known for traditionalism than cutting-edge innovation. The wireless charging aspect is especially important, as this appears to be the direction many EV makers are taking. While Rolls is adamant this all-electric Phantom will never make it into production, perhaps one day a luxury EV of this magnitude might be worth making. After all, other luxury automakers, including Mercedes-Benz and Audi, are producing pure electric flagships of their own. So why not Rolls Royce as well?