Better late than never.
Indeed, Rolls-Royce is very late to the all-electric game, because if anyone was supposed to produce an all-electric vehicle first, even before Tesla, it was Rolls-Royce. I mean, think about it, the key ingredients for a Rolls-Royce are silence and elegance. You don’t even need speed, all you have to do is waft along the road like you’re in no hurry for anything, even to sign a multi-million dollar deal, because the other party will be willing to wait. And in most cases, you’ll be relaxing in the back seat.
That said, Rolls-Royce has been working on all-electric vehicles for over a decade now. If you remember, the company showcased a Phantom-based one-off electric prototype called 102EX at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, and another concept codenamed 103EX (Vision Next 100) in 2016.
And interestingly, in 1898, Charles Rolls while still an engineering student at Cambridge, had acquired an American-made electric vehicle called The Columbia Electric Carriage from Paris Singer (heir to the sewing machine dynasty). Apparently, he liked it very much and declared its electric drive to be ideal.
Now though, it’s time for the real thing. Rolls-Royce has named its first all-electric car ‘Spectre’, which again, is a synonym for ghost, phantom, wraith and those sort of things. Looking at the weirdly camouflaged prototype, one would be tempted to call it a Wraith EV, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It’s not just a Wraith with oily bits replaced with EV bits. CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös had the following to say –
Our forthcoming electric car benefits from the Rolls-Royce architecture and therefore the extraordinary experience of a Rolls-Royce on the road. Free of any group platform sharing strategy, we were able to integrate our plans for an electric powertrain into the architecture’s initial design and ensure that this extraordinary new product meets the extremely high expectations of our clients.
The company said that the Spectre prototypes will cover 2.5 million test kilometres—a simulation of 400 years of use. And, the finished product is expected to show up in Q4 2023. Rolls-Royce plans to go fully electric by 2030.