Rolls-Royce Fires Up its BEV Ambitions

Luxury British carmaker, Rolls-Royce, is ramping up consumer expectations for its first BEV powered vehicle by promising it will arrive ‘sooner rather than later’.

In a statement drawing on the electrical expertise of its two founders, Charles Rolls and Henry Royce, the automaker reiterated its three pledges so far:

  • The marque will introduce an all-electric car this decade;
  • This car will be a pure BEV, not a hybrid of any kind;
  • It will be launched only when the time is right, and every element meets Rolls-Royce’s technical, aesthetic and performance standards.

It acknowledges that the statements have sparked considerable interest and media speculation surrounding its electrification plans.  The company said it was worth considering the early days of the automotive era in the late 19th century where carmakers wrestled with the three main means of propulsion – ICE, steam and electricity.  Even then, electricity lost out in that competition for much the same reasons that it faces today including a lack of range and suitable infrastructure.

Now the company believes the time is approaching where these obstacles can be solved. In the company statement, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, chief executive officer, said: “In April 1900, our founding forefather, Charles Rolls, made a prescient prophecy about automotive electrification.  Move forward over 120 years to when I made a public promise, on the record, that we would bring the first fully electric Rolls‑Royce to market within the current decade.  And, right now, our company is embarking on an historic undertaking to create the first, super-luxury car of its type.  This will happen sooner than many thought possible, through the incredible skills, expertise, vision and dedication of our engineers, designers and specialists at the home of Rolls-Royce.

“In this ground-breaking endeavor, we are drawing on a remarkable heritage, unique in our industry.  Our founders and those who worked alongside them in the marque’s formative years were all important pioneers of electric power, as well as their era’s leading experts in automotive engineering.  As we herald a new electric future at Rolls-Royce, I am proud and humbled to share their inspiring stories, which have never been told in one place before, and shine a fresh and fascinating light on our company’s earliest days.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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