At least for now, Rolls-Royce's luxury sedans will be staying gasoline-only. CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös has told Car and Driver that the fully electric Phantom-based 102EX concept car isn't going to make it onto the production line. The 102EX was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011, but Müller-Ötvös says response was "ambivalent" — potential buyers liked the acceleration and quiet engine, but found the minimum eight-hour charge times and 120-mile range of the vehicle "not acceptable."
The 102EX was designed as an electric alternative to the gas-guzzling Phantom, which gets only 14 miles to the gallon. Although the car received positive marks for performance, it weighed several hundred pounds more than the already heavy Phantom and could have ended up costing over twice as much as the $450,000 gas-powered version. Still, Müller-Ötvös insists that Rolls-Royce hasn't given up on electric power. A plug-in hybrid, he says, could combine "the advantages of both worlds." Even hybrids haven't been doing so well in the past months, though, so the chances of a successful electric Rolls-Royce in any form are starting to look pretty slim.