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Electric Rolls-Royce a when, not an if

by Ronan Glon

There\'s \"zero demand\" for a plug-in hybrid Rolls, however.

Rolls-Royce dipped its toes in the electrification pond when it built the 102EX concept six years ago. Essentially an electric Phantom, the model was brought to life to test buyers' reaction to the idea of an all-electric Rolls. The reaction turned out to be overwhelmingly negative, and the model was quickly canceled, but times have changed and buyers' demands have, too.

Rolls-Royce boss Torsten Müller-Ötvös told an electric model is a when, not an if. The car will arrive between 2020 and 2030, so the BMW-owned British company still has plenty of time to develop it and ensure it meets the stringent standards of the average Rolls buyer. When it lands, it will offer up to 250 miles of driving range.

Don't expect Rolls-Royce to follow rival Bentley into the world of plug-in hybrid models. There is zero demand for an electrified Rolls, according to Müller-Ötvös. Customers don't care about hybrid or plug-in hybrid drivetrains; they want a V12 or an electric motor.

Part of the reason we won't see an electric Rolls until the next decade is that the company is currently allocating the bulk of its resources to designing Project Cullinan, its very first SUV. Sales are tentatively scheduled to begin within the next year.

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