Realizing that the V12 engine’s days maybe numbered due to fuel-economy and exhaust-emissions pressures, Rolls-Royce mounted an exploratory visit to a probable future in which guzzling cylinders are superseded by electric propulsion.
Using a Phantom limousine as their guinea pig, Rolls engineers replaced every bit of combustion-related gear with proven electrical systems, wisely avoiding the temptation to reinvent the electric car.
The resulting Phantom 102EX, or Experimental Electric (EE), is a different type of hybrid: an amalgam of classic poise and electric pleasure. Endowed with deep reserves of instantaneous torque, the Rolls EE answers every prod of the accelerator with a regal rush for¬ward. Like the original Phantom, the electric edition effortlessly wafts along in near silence. Consistent with the Rolls-Royce ethos, the EE’s soothing white noise is equal measures of tire hiss, wind
ruffle, and humming electronics.
Plug to Play
In place of a fuel-filler pipe, the EE has a standard European electrical connector for recharging the battery pack. Color LEDs report electrical status-flashing blue during charging, green when the battery is full of electricity, and red if an electrical anomaly arises. These colors advisories in a console mounted display.
A pair of UOM water-cooled electric motors provides a combined 389 horsepower and 590 pound- feet of torque delivered through a single-speed Xtrac transaxle. Colorado- based UOM Technologies has a 35-year history of advanced electric-motor manufacturing.
Ceramic nanoparticles in the Phantom EE’s paint add sparkle. To achieve that foot-deep wet look, four coats of Atlantic Chrome base coat were topped with multiple clear coats.
CHARGE OF THE HEAVY BRIGADE
An experimental inductive system provides convenient non-contact battery recharging. Parking the car over a floor pad magnetically couples a corresponding electrical surface on the car’s underside.
BATTERIES ARE INCLUDED
The 71-kWh lithium-ion battery pack mimics the size and shape of the gasoline-powered Phantom’s 6.7-liter V-12 engine and six-speed automatic transmission. This record-size pack weighs 1411 pounds, more that twice the Nissan Leaf battery pack’s weight – and delivers 850 Amps at 338 volts.
The battery was assembled by Axeon in Scothland using 96 prismatic cells manufactured by Don KoKam in Korea.
Seton Company, an American- based tannery, supplied the EE’s experimental leather upholstery and flooring. Instead of the usual environmentally troublesome chromium salts, Seton used vegetable-based tanning materials and christened the final product Corinova.
Chestnut extract and crushed tara-bush fruit were used in the drum-dyeing process. Interior surfaces are trimmed with woven aluminized glass and aluminum-foil materials rather than the usual lavish wood paneling.