Currently reading: Geneva motor show 2011: Rolls reveals electric Phantom
Rolls-Royce reveals electric limo concept, and it already looks good enough to sell

Rolls-Royce is launching this ‘experimental’ electric version of its Phantom at the Geneva show — but the car’s specs already look realistic enough to make production a closer prospect than Rolls will officially admit.

The 102EX concept is based on a regular-length Phantom but replaces that car’s twin-turbo V12 with two electric motors that power the back axle through a single-speed transmission.

See official pics of the Rolls 102EX concept

Together they produce 389bhp, compared with the petrol car’s 453bhp. But they also offer 590lb ft across what Rolls-Royce calls “a wide range”, well clear of the petrol Phantom’s 531lb ft.

These reserves help the 102EX to reach 60mph in “under eight seconds” and an electronically limited top speed of 100mph — even though the car weighs around 200kg more than a regular Phantom, at 2700kg.

Rolls believes the 102EX’s lithium ion battery pack could be the largest yet fitted to a road car. It comprises five modules of 38, 36, 10, eight and four cells, arranged in an irregular-shaped unit that roughly matches the dimensions of the regular car’s engine and gearbox.

The overall capacity is 71kWh — just under three times that of a Nissan Leaf’s battery — and the peak current is a colossal 850 amps. Rolls says the battery will offer a range of around 125 miles and that it should last for three years if used on a daily basis.

The electric Phantom has four charging units, three of which are devoted to either single-phase charging (which allows a full charge in 20 hours) and three-phase charging (eight hours). The plug-in charger occupies the same position as the fuel filler on a regular Phantom.

The fourth charger is an induction unit. It allows the car to be charged wirelessly via a ‘transfer pad’ on the ground, and is 90 per cent efficient when measured from mains supply to battery.

Rolls-Royce will now put the 102EX on tour, testing durability and customer feedback across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.

John McIlroy

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