Last year we’ve been telling you that Rolls Royce will enrich its big and ugly Phantom cars made for the rich and tasteless with yet another big and ugly Phantom – not one powered by a V12 engine, but by a quiet, clean and smooth electric motor… The Rolls Royce 102 EX. Well, they did. But the end of this story is that the electric Phantom will only remain a prototype, since Rolls Royce has decided to drop the idea.
The reason is a simple one: nobody asked for them. As a motortrend blog post reports, people owning jets and flying intercontinental routes on a regular basis aren’t keen about having anything to do with range anxiety or waiting for their car to charge for eight hours just to save fuel.
Well, the RR guys should have expected that – the Phantom customers are exactly the worst niche possible for electric Phantoms. They may buy a Tesla just because Teslas are sportscars – they’re made for fun and not luxury, but a big, conservative exec can’t exactly be forced to postpone his shareholders meeting just for the sake of a dead EV battery. It’s so obvious he’ll choose the big, gas-guzzling V12. He has a big business to run, and there’s no toying with that.
I don’t know what RR thought when they advanced the idea of a pure electric car for these customers. A Volt-like approach would have been better for them, it would have combined the torque with the range such a car needs, and that’s it.
The “big and ugly” part from the beginning is my own taste, I don’t want to offend anyone. I wouldn’t buy a Phantom even if they gave me one for free (ok, maybe for reselling it). But you wouldn’t catch me driving one, even if I had a private jet available. I’m more of a sportscars type. But there are people with a lot more money than me who also deserve to have their chance at saying aloud how great electric cars are! And we need people like Elon Musk and the sorts who know to whom their cars address, who is their target customer. Otherwise, it’s just money spent in vain.