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Electrifying the Rolls-Royce Phantom - inside the plug-in Roller


March 1, 2011

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Electrifying the Rolls-Royce was no simple matter. Luxury vehicle buyers in the EUR200,000 ++ segment know what they want – sumptuous comfort and effortless acceleration. Retaining Rolls Royce clientele is obviously paramount, so as the first pure electric car in the top-shelf segment, it's interesting to see what a brand with such stellar values has done. An aluminium space frame keeps weight down and the biggest automobile battery pack ever – 71 kWh – still only offers a range of 200 kilometers. Twin watercooled 145 kW electric motors offer a total 290 kW, which is less than the 338 kW Phantom 6.75-litre V12, but with even nicer power characteristics – a flat 800 Nm mid-range versus the peak 720Nm @3500 rpm of the V12. The range could be the limiting factor because everything else looks excellent.

Firstly, we need to mention the top speed. The Phantom EE has a limited top speed of 160 which we assume is to thwart those Roller enthusiasts who will be queuing up to drive it in the coming world tour. I am certain a higher top speed will be on offer when the car sees public showrooms.

The Phantom EE's 71 kWh lithium-ion battery uses Lithium-Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese-Oxide chemistry is the largest ever fitted to a road car. The pack of 96 NCM pouch cells is curiously arranged to mimic the mass of an internal combustion engine – presumably so that the mass, balance and feel of the vehicle is authentically retained in every way.

In terms of charging, Rolls Royce has given a nod to both its established clientele and the technophiles. The car will charge from a normal three-phase powerpoint in eight hours. For those who have a country property with single phase power, it will require 20 hours, and the EE is also capable of inductive (wireless) charging.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon

its a mistake to compare the power of electric motor to gasoline in such a way. In fact twin motors are 600KW of peak power which is almost twice more of the 338 kW Phantom 6.75-litre V12.

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I\'m not really an electric car fan but I\'ve always thought that the upper luxury market was the best place to start with the introduction of a new technology and if anybody could ferret out the problematic issues of and electric car it would be Rolls-Royce and after they perfect the process it could then \"trickle down\" to the rest of us. :-)


nobody seems to mention how heating and cooling effect the range of electric vehicles!!


Then how do you calculate it? I always hear that some WAY reduced H.P. number of an electric motor is some how equal to or better then some WAY higher I.C. engine H.P. figure and it\'s usually something about torque available at zero R.P.M.\'s but that\'s only going to take you so far. Really how do you calculate the power of one vs the other?


Power of a gasoline engine in datasheets is peak. This is the way of measering it on test stand. Power of electric motor is measered on nominal current. Why its not measered on peak current? Because after a short time motor coil will be destroyed. Usually its taken as twice more than nominal current. in fact it can be even more.

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