CEO details plan to follow up 2023 Spectre coupe with EV versions of Phantom, Cullinan and Ghost.
Rolls-Royce will follow up its first EV, the Spectre coupe, with all-electric successors to the current Cullinan SUV, Ghost sedan and Phantom limousine.
Speaking to Automotive Daily’s partner Autocar in the wake of the announcement that Rolls-Royce sold more cars in 2021 than in any previous year in its 117-year history, CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös said it’s important that each model is replaced by an EV alternative as the company progresses towards a pure-electric line-up by 2030.
The British marque will refresh its current range in the coming years but won’t launch any more combustion models, making the Mk2 Ghost the final petrol-powered Rolls-Royce to be introduced.
Müller-Ötvös highlighted the UK government’s planned 2030 ban on new ICE car sales as a particular incentive but said: “We aren’t only driven by legal: we’re also driven by our fairly young clientele worldwide, and we’re seeing more and more people asking actively for an electrified Rolls-Royce.”
The age of the average Rolls-Royce buyer has dropped sharply in recent years to just 43, and Müller-Ötvös notes that “quite a lot of our clients already own an electric car, be it a Tesla, a BMW or some other model”, and so have experience when it comes to operating EV chargers and range management.
He wouldn’t be drawn on the technical details of Rolls-Royce’s future EVs beyond confirming that “the entire portfolio will be electrified”. The Spectre’s 150 million-mile testing programme will no doubt inform the development of its future range-mates, accelerating the lead time of each EV based on Goodwood’s Architecture of Luxury.
Electrifying the entire portfolio, said Müller-Ötvös, is “a huge task for a relatively small company”, but the required investment won’t automatically translate into more expensive cars. “We never price ‘cost-driven’, we price ‘segment-driven’ and ‘substance-driven’,” explained Müller-Ötvös, emphasising that the Spectre – which will arrive in 2023, shortly after the similarly shaped Wraith bows out – will be priced according to its positioning rather than its powertrain.
The future electric Phantom therefore won’t necessarily cost more than the current V12 petrol-engined car’s $991,400 starting price.
A priority for the Phantom EV and its range-mates will be exhibiting characteristics that compensate for the loss of Rolls-Royce’s venerable V12, which will bow out in 2030. The car maker’s electric powertrain will be “very torquey”, promised Müller-Ötvös, and will allow for “waftability, silent movement, a magic carpet ride, utmost quality and so on”.