Rolls-Royce is the epitome of opulent automobiles and the ultimate - if very British - expression of good fortune and taste. But although the British automaker has made an all electric prototype of its iconic Phantom Coupe, it doesn’t plan to bring it into production any time soon.
Rolls-Royce says it is currently gauging customer interest in an electric model, but we can't see many Rolls-Royce owners going electric.
You see, Rolls-Royce customers aren’t your usual car-buyers. Let us take you on a shamefully biased and stereotypical view of why we think most Rolls-Royce owners won’t be dumping the pump just yet.
It’s all about status...
When an automaker opens a massive 9,687 square foot showroom and displays just 10 of its cars there alongside a coffee bar, a customer configuration lounge and a workshop, you know it isn’t selling cars like the Geo Metro you had at high school.
2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe
Buying a Rolls-Royce puts you into a strange reality where even the mechanics working on your car wear suits and ties underneath their coveralls. A world where you travel secure in the knowledge that you have superior tastes to all of those mass-produced, vulgar tin boxes on the road beside you.
Although we’d have to argue there are some obvious exceptions to the stereotype.
...but not about the money
But Rolls-Royce ownership is not about how much money you have, or how much money the car costs to run. That would be uncouth.
Because when you’ve just spent $380,000 on a 2012 Rolls Royce Phantom, the last thing you worry about is the cost of filling its 26.4 gallon tank or its single digit fuel economy.
In other words, the rapidly rising price of gas isn’t the same motivation to switch to electric that it may be for drivers of more mainstream cars.
Fill and go
2009 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe
Although the Rolls-Royce 102EX electric Phantom came complete with the ability to recharge wirelessly using an inductive charging system or quickly using any available three-phase power outlet, waiting to refill isn’t something we can imagine a Rolls-Royce owner putting up with, especially if they have a chauffeur.
Instead, refilling has to be quick, simple, and something Jeeves can do without damaging the immaculately polished paintwork.
And when time is money, even the 30 minute rapid-recharging time of cars like the 2011 Nissan Leaf is simply far too long to wait.
OIl be seeing you
Our final nail in the coffin of an all-electric Rolls-Royce comes from the Middle East, where Rolls-Royce has more than 10 percent of its dealerships.
A favorite with royalty and wealthy oil barons alike, Rolls-Royce automobiles go hand-in-hand with the opulent lifestyle of playboy princes and heads of state.
We’ve cited some of the reasons we think Rolls-Royce won’t be making an electric car any time soon - but do you agree?
Let us know in the Comments below.