Rolls-Royce confirms development of first electric vehicle

Rolls-Royce has confirmed that it is working on its very first battery electric vehicle, the Silent Shadow.

No specific details have been revealed yet but it is expected that more information on the electric vehicle will be released before the end of the year. While a fully unveiling is not expected at that point, the model could be similar to the 103EX concept that was published in 2016.

Since the concept in 2016, Rolls-Royce has often remarked on the quiet and powerful nature of electric vehicles and how that suits the luxury limousine market.

CEO of Rolls-Royce, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, commented: “Electrification fits perfect with Rolls-Royce — it’s torquey, it’s super-silent. We are not known for roaring loud engines and exhaust noises whatsoever, and that is a big benefit.”

The Silent Shadow, a name that is derived from the 1965 and 1980 Silver Shadow, will reportedly be based on the Phantom’s platform and will share certain components with the BMW i7.

Both models are expected to have BMW-produced electric motors and axles, a move that is in line with comments made by Torsten Müller-Ötvös back in 2017.

“It is important for us to use mature technology. Because our customers don’t want to experiment in this segment,” he said. “They expect the very highest quality and reliability from a Rolls-Royce in particular. That is fundamental for the brand. That’s why we don’t implement a new technology until we are absolutely sure.”

The move to develop the brands first fully electric vehicles comes after Müller-Ötvös said that Rolls-Royce would bypass petrol-electric plug-in hybrid powertrains and would concentrate on fully electric models instead.

The decision also comes almost a decade after the manufacturer released the 102EX, a one-off electric version of the seventh-generation Phantom to gauge the public perception of an electric Rolls-Royce.

In March 2020, Rolls-Royce’s parent company, BMW, confirmed that the upcoming generation of the 7 Series will be launched as part of a series of electric vehicles. The new 7 Series is set to be released in 2022 and will be twinned with the production of the Silent Shadow, in order to maximise production efficiency.

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