Rolls-Royce drivers unsure about electric models, CEO says
CHICAGO – Customers of BMW AG ultraluxury brand Rolls-Royce have had mixed feelings about potential electric versions of the automaker's vehicles, but hybrid models may be a possibility, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes said.
Rolls-Royce has been showing customers a one-of-a-kind electric version of its Phantom sedan to gather opinions on whether the automaker should produce such a vehicle.
The concept car known as the Phantom 102EX or EE debuted at the Geneva auto show earlier this year. Since then, Rolls-Royce has sent the car on a global tour, allowing owners and enthusiasts to test drive the EV and provide feedback.
The company has said it has no plans at present to produce EVs.
Buyers of the $380,000 Phantom and $245,000 Ghost models often live on the outskirts of major cities and may not accept an electric car's 100-mile range, Mueller-Oetvoes said in an interview here on Thursday.
"Let's wait and see what our customers are telling us, but hybrids have a certain capability to deliver both electric driving combined with a normal combustion engine, and that might be a solution," he said.
No customers have approached the automaker to ask for electric versions of the cars, which now feature 12-cylinder engines, Mueller-Oetvoes said.
The automaker is targeting record sales this year after the smaller Ghost model helped to almost triple global deliveries to 2,711 in 2010.
Sources: Bloomberg, with contributions from David Jolley