By now there is no doubt that the future of mobility is ‘electric’. Every major car brand has already laid out a timeline for making the transition to battery electric motive power over the next few years. Yet, when the world’s biggest luxury automotive brand announces that it is ditching petrol for ‘KwH’, it is big news.

Last week, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars announced that its first fully electric motor car will be launched by the last quarter of 2023. Road testing of the camouflaged car you see in these pictures is imminent. Incidentally, Rolls-Royce adds that it is the final production car that is being tested, and not a prototype.

Says Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Executive Officer, Torsten Müller-Ötvös, “With this new product, we set out our credentials for the full electrification of our entire product portfolio by 2030. By then, Rolls-Royce will no longer be in the business of producing or selling any internal combustion engine products.”

Aluminium architecture

In 2017, Rolls-Royce debuted Phantom, and with it the marque’s proprietary aluminium architecture: a scalable and flexible spaceframe that would underpin all forthcoming Rolls-Royce motor cars. This technology – developed for Rolls-Royce by Rolls-Royce and reserved for the marque’s exclusive use – was created to form the foundation of not just different internal combustion engine models, as it now does with Cullinan and Ghost, but models with completely different powertrains.

“To this end, our forthcoming electric car benefits from the Rolls-Royce architecture and therefore the extraordinary experience of a Rolls-Royce on the road. Free of any group platform sharing strategy, we were able to integrate our plans for an electric powertrain into the architecture’s initial design and ensure that this extraordinary new product meets the extremely high expectations of our clients,” adds RR’s CEO.

“To do this, we have conceived the most demanding testing programme in Rolls-Royce’s history. We will cover 2.5 million km – a simulation of more than 400 years of use for a Rolls-Royce, on average – and we will travel to all four corners of the world to push this new motor car to the limit,” Torsten adds.

Rolls-Royce has been experimenting with an electric powertrain for some time. In 2011, it revealed 102EX, a fully operational all-electric Phantom. This was followed in 2016 with the fully electric 103EX.