We're big fans of electric cars here at DVICE, so when Rolls Royce rolled out its electric luxury car concept — the Phantom 102EX — at the Geneva Motor Show last year, we all got super excited. Turns out the car's going to remain a concept forever. Rolls Royce ain't producing it.
Talk about disappointing news. Rolls Royce's CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös sat down with Car and Driver to break the bad news.
The Phantom-based 102EX was built as a sort of market-research project, and more than 500 potential customers were given the chance to test it. "The results were ambivalent," the CEO now admits. Its acceleration and utter silence were highly praised, but "on the other hand, the charging times are not acceptable, and the range is not acceptable," says Müller-Ötvös. What about other alternative powertrains? "In the long run, I could imagine an alternative powertrain, but that technology would be different." He explains that a plug-in hybrid could work as a solution that combines "the advantages of both worlds."
It's not just poor performance that led to the Phantom 102EX's demise, but also cost. An electric Phantom would have cost nearly $950,000 — more than twice that of an average Rolls Royce that sells on average anywhere between $300,000 to $400,000.
And so the dream EV concept car from 2009 comes to a close. It's probably for the better that the Phantom doesn't get produced. We'd much rather be driving an electric DeLorean ripping through time anyway.