Rolls-Royce has ruled out producing hybrid cars in the future – with CEO Torsten Müller-Otvös saying the brand will only introduce battery technology when it’s developed enough for an all-electric machine.
Müller-Otvös said he is convinced that electric powertrains are the future of motoring, but added that the luxury firm’s customers would not accept the “compromise” of hybrid technology. He also said that Rolls-Royce will only launch an electric car when the technology has developed enough.
“Electrification is the way forward – and there will be no in between steps for us like hybridisation,” said Müller-Otvös at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. “It is the propulsion system for the future, make no error. There is a time - nobody can predict when - when there will be no combustion engines. That will take a long, long time, but it will happen.”
Explaining why Rolls-Royce would not invest in hybrid technology, Müller-Otvös added: “The Rolls-Royce brand is not, in a way, a game-changer when it comes to revolutionary technology. Our customers are doing so for reasons of utmost luxury, so there can be no imperfections.
“Compromises when it comes to technology, or operating our products, are unacceptable. People are more interested in highly reliably substance than to be a test field for new technology.”
Müller-Otvös also noted that access to technology developed by BMW, Rolls-Royce's parent company, would be a great asset when it did start work on an electric powertrain.
Last year, Rolls-Royce unveiled a Vision 100 concept, as part of the BMW Group’s 100th anniversary. That was an all-electric machine with autonomous technology. But Müller-Otvös said that, while autonomous tech “will come” to Rolls-Royce cars, it was not a priority.
“For our customers it’s not really a requirement because many have chauffeurs. So for that reason, it exists already. I haven’t had a single customer say to me: ‘Torsten, when is the autonomous Rolls-Royce coming?’”